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DC        IRBftl 


Mother  Mary  Aloysia  Hartley 


Aloyaia 


SrluumtH  of  the  9arrri>  S?rari 


IBflfl  -  IBBfi 


IH tlh  an  9ntrodiirtion  bg  Ihr 

3.  fflamptoU,  &.  3 


f  orb 

Antrrira  y rnui 
1910 


N1 


SCTTABETH    8ETON    SCHOOL 


Copyright,  1910,  by 
THE  AMERICA  PRESS 


Nihil  Obstat. 


THOMAS   B.  COTTER,  Ph.  D., 

Censor  Deputatus. 


Imprimatur. 


JOHN   M.  FARLEY,  D.D., 

Archbishop  of  New  York. 


August  16,  1910. 


:<•;'• 

-i"i 


INTRODUCTION. 

Had  the  Life  of  Mother  Hardey  not  been  published  it 
would  have  been  a  positive  loss  for  the  history  of  the  Cath- 
olic Church  in  the  United  States,  where  for  more  than  fifty 
years  she  was  such  a  conspicuous  figure.  Her  biographer 
completed  the  work  several  years  ago,  but  it  was  only  after 
reiterated  entreaties  and  expostulations  that  the  manuscript 
was  finally  put  into  the  hands  of  the  printer. 

The  Sisters  of  Charity  have  shown  a  keener  appreciation  of 
the  advantage  of  such  publications.  For  they  have  already 
given  to  the  world  two  excellent  Lives  of  their  beloved 
Mother  Seton,  and  by  so  doing  have  made  the  Catholics  of 
the  United  States  their  debtors ;  for  no  one  can  fail  to  profit 
spiritually  by  the  story  of  such  a  glorious  career.  It  is, 
therefore,  a  source  of  sincere  satisfaction  that  side  by  side 
with  Elizabeth  Seton  there  should  stand  to-day  her  illus- 
trious compatriot,  Mary  Aloysia  Hardey.  Both  were  typical 
American  women;  one  from  the  North,  the  other  from  the 
South ;  one  who  began  her  life  of  self-immolation  after  the 
desolation  of  her  widowhood ;  the  other  who  was  a  nun 
when  she  was  still  a  slip  of  a  girl ;  one  a  convert  to  the 
Faith ;  the  other  of  a  family  so  intensely  Catholic  that  they 
spelled  their  name  Hardey,  instead  of  Hardy,  because  some 
of  their  kin  in  Maryland  who  were  known  by  the  latter 
name  had  apostatized  from  the  Faith ;  one  was  the  Foun- 
dress of  a  great  Congregation;  the  other  was  substantially 
the  Foundress  of  the  Religious  of  the  Sacred  Heart  in  the 
United  States.  At  least,  to  an  outside  observer,  she  seems 


to  have  stamped  her  individuality  on  the  body,  and  imparted 
to  it  the  impulse  under  which  it  still  works.  The  lives  of 
both  are  not  only  an  inspiration  to  the  devoted  religious 
who  delight  to  call  them  Mother,  but  to  people  of  the  world, 
Catholic  and  Protestant  alike,  who  are  made  happier  and 
better  by  the  contemplation  of  the  work  of  these  two  splen- 
did heroines  who  have  done  so  much  for  the  glory  of  God 
and  the  good  of  humanity. 

When  the  Hardeys  emigrated  from  Maryland  to  Louis- 
iana it  was  to  better  their  worldly  fortunes;  but  in  reality 
God  was  leading  the  favorite  of  the  household,  Mary,  or 
Mary  Aloysia,  as  she  was  afterwards  called,  into  the  arms 
of  a  saint,  Mother  Duchesne,  whom  Mother  Barat  had  sent 
out  to  establish  the  first  community  of  the  Society  of  the 
Sacred  Heart  in  America.  But  not  even  Mother  Duchesne 
suspected  the  future  greatness  of  the  little  girl  who  was 
among  the  first  five  to  enter  the  humble  boarding  school  at 
Grand  Coteau ;  and  it  is  almost  startling  to  be  told  how  two 
insignificant  and  almost  ridiculous  incidents  came  near  de- 
flecting Mary  Hardey  from  the  path  that  God  had  marked 
out  for  her. 

She  entered  the  convent  when  she  was  only  sixteen 
years  of  age.  Mother  Barat  always  spoke  of  her  as  "  her 
first  American  daughter,"  though  as  a  matter  of  fact,  a  good 
lay-sister  preceded  her  as  a  postulant.  Her  independent 
manner  at  first  worried  her  superiors.  They  fancied  they 
saw  what  they  supposed  was  the  characteristic  American 
pride ;  but  in  reality  no  one  in  the  convent  had  a  better  sup- 
ply of  the  virtue  of  humility.  Indeed,  her  superior  soon 
wrote  to  Mother  Barat  that  "  Madame  Aloysia  is  too  per- 
fect; I  fear  she  will  not  live  long" — a  most  uncomfortable 
inducement  to  be  virtuous. 

vi  '     ' 


She  was  first  appointed  Superior  at  the  age  of  twenty- 
three.  It  was  an  unusual  mark  of  confidence,  and  revealed  al- 
ready her  remarkable  aptitude  for  governing ;  a  difficult  task 
at  any  time,  but  especially  in  those  days  when  the  conven- 
tual surroundings  were  not,  as  at  present,  refined  and  even 
elegant,  but  when  food  was  scarce  and  when  what  they 
had  was  coarse  and  repulsive.  Sometimes  there  was  not  a 
chair  to  sit  on,  or  a  plate  to  eat  from.  There  was  work  to 
be  done  in  the  field,  or  even  the  barn  and  stable,  but  those 
refined  and  cultured  women  were  as  light-hearted  and  gay 
as  if  all  that  had  been  contrived  for  their  amusement.  The 
only  thing  that  discouraged  them  at  times  was  the  lack  of 
spiritual  guidance,  and  most  of  all  the  absence  of  the 
Blessed  Sacrament  in  their  miserable  dwellings.  Mother 
Hardey,  however,  was  always  like  a  ray  of  sunshine  in 
the  gloom,  but  never  more  so  than  when  the  Asiatic 
cholera  was  ravaging  St.  Michael's  with  its  two  hundred 
inmates.  She  moved  like  an  angel  of  light  among  the  sick, 
smiling  and  happy,  for  death  never  had  any  terror  for  her. 

She  became  Superior  in  1836,  and  until  her  death  in  1886 
she  was  always  in  posts  of  authority.  Her  life  was  one  of 
stupendous  labor.  While  providing  for  the  spiritual  and 
temporal  welfare  of  her  children,  she  was  at  the  same  time 
off  on  never-ending  journeys,  all  of  which  were  unavoidable 
on  account  of  the  establishment  of  new  houses  that  were 
asked  for  everywhere.  Again  and  again  she  crossed  the 
Atlantic,  not  in  the  luxurious  vessels  of  to-day,  but  on  the 
clumsy,  slow-going  and  often  dangerous  craft  of  fifty  years 
ago.  We  find  her  in  Europe  and  Cuba  and  Canada  and  far 
away  in  the  West,  never  even  thinking  of  respite  or  repose. 
Her  houses  of  education  were  built  everywhere  on  a  mag- 
nificent scale  all  over  this  vast  continent. 

vii 


What  is  most  striking  in  her  long  Superiorship  is  the  ad- 
miring affection  which  she  inspired  not  only  in  the  hearts 
of  her  spiritual  daughters  but  among  people  of  the  world 
as  well.  You  meet  men  and  women  whose  hair  has  long 
since  turned  gray  who  will  tell  you,  as  if  it  were  a  title  to 
distinction,  that  they  knew  Mother  Hardey ;  but  among  her 
own  religious,  those  especially  who  had  the  happiness  of 
living  with  her,  there  is  always  noticeable  a  tenderness  in 
the  attachment  combined  with  something  like  awe,  and  yet 
it  is  not  awe,  for  no  one  ever  feared  to  go  to  her,  even  if 
they  were  in  fault  or  if  the  work  that  had  been  entrusted 
to  them  had  met  with  disastrous  failure.  Though  in- 
variably successful  herself,  no  one  knew  better  than  she 
how  to  comfort  those  who  had  not  been  so  favored.  She 
was  large  minded  and  considerate,  and  though  to  a  certain 
extent  her  position  as  Superior  entailed  what  might  be 
called  isolation,  and  though  the  necessities  of  her  office  often 
called  for  reproof  and  reprimand,  yet  every  one  was  con- 
vinced that  there  was  always  a  large  place  in  her  heart  for 
the  humblest  and  weakest  and  least  equipped,  and  perhaps 
especially  for  them.  In  the  noblest  sense  of  the  word  she 
was  intensely  human,  and  it  is  very  touching  to  see  this 
absolutely  unworldly  and  saintly  woman,  who  was  always 
absorbed  in  great  enterprises,  clinging  to  Mother  Barat, 
whom  she  was  about  to  leave,  sobbing  and  weeping  like  a 
child  as  if  her  heart  would  break.  No  wonder  that  Rafaela 
Donoso,  a  young  Cuban  girl  who  heard  that  Mother  Har- 
dey, when  in  Havana,  was  in  danger  of  death  from  yellow 
fever,  hurried  off  to  the  church  and  offered  herself  to  God 
to  suffer  three  days  in  purgatory  if  the  precious  life  were 
spared.  Doubtless  many  of  her  daughters  had  made  many 
similar  oblations  for  their  mother,  but  they  are  unrecorded. 


via 


She  was  the  Assistant  of  the  Mother  General  in  Paris 
when  she  died.  That  was  in  1886.  She  was  buried  at  Con- 
flans,  but  very  few  are  aware  that  when  a  few  years  ago 
the  Government  expelled  the  nuns  from  their  convents, 
Mother  Hardey's  American  daughters  succeeded  in  having 
her  venerable  remains  brought  to  this  country.  It  was 
done  very  quietly  and  almost  secretly.  No  doubt  many  peo- 
ple who  admired  and  revered  her  would  have  liked  to  have 
paid  her  some  tribute  of  honor  on  that  occasion,  but  the 
dread  of  publicity  which  is  the  characteristic  of  her  re- 
ligious, and  which  is  sometimes  carried  to  lengths  that 
might  seem  extreme,  prompted  them  to  keep  all  knowledge 
of  what  they  were  doing  from  the  world  at  large.  They 
buried  her  on  the  hill  that  overlooks  her  beautiful  and  be- 
loved Kenwood.  Around  her  are  her  daughters  who,  like 
her,  have  gone  to  their  reward,  some  of  them  unlike  her  in 
the  bloom  of  youth,  as  the  simple  crosses  on  their  graves 
declare.  But  none  of  them,  young  or  old,  would  want  a 
better  resting  place  than  near  her  who  gave  them  their  great 
ideals.  Her  memory  pervades  the  sacred  and  silent  enclos- 
ure ;  and  if  the  great  ones  of  the  world  enter  there  they  will 
bend  their  heads  abashed  and  ashamed  as  they  recall,  with 
self-reproach,  the  glorious  things  that  were  achieved  for 
God  by  this  remarkable  woman — Mary  Aloysia  Hardey. 

T.  J.  CAMPBELL,  S.  J. 


TABLE  OF  CONTENTS. 


INTRODUCTION  v-ix 

CHAPTER.  PAGE. 

I. — Birth  and  Childhood  of  Mary  Hardey — 

1809-1819 i-io 

II. — Origin  of  the  Society  of  the  Sacred  Heart 

1800   11-14 

III. — Foundation  of  the  Society  of  the  Sacred 
Heart  in  America — St.  Charles,  Mis- 
souri— 1818-1821  15-23 

IV. — Foundation  of  Grand  Coteau,  La. — 
School  Life  of  Mary  Hardey — 1821- 
1825  24-34 

V. — Mary  Hardey  Receives  the  Religious 
Habit — Foundation  of  St.  Michael's, 
La. — Madame  Hardey  Takes  Her  First 
Vows — 1824-1827  35-45 

VI. — Death    of    Madame    Hamilton — Council 

at  St.  Michael's — 1827-1833 46-50 

VII.— Cholera  at  St.  Michael's— Madame  Har- 
dey's  Profession — Madame  Aude's  De- 
parture for  France — Madame  Hardey 
Appointed  Superior — 1833-1836 51-60 

VIII. — Madame  Hardey's  Administration  as 
Superior — Mother  Galitzin  Visitatrix 
of  the  American  Houses — 1836-1841...  61-72 

xi 


CHAPTER.  PAGE. 

IX.— Mother  Galitzin  Visits  St.  Michael's— 
Foundation  in  New  York — Mother 
Hardey  Leaves  St.  Michael's — Death 

of  Mother  Aude — 1841-1842 73-84 

X. — Visit  to  Rome — Retreat  at  Lyon's — Re- 
turn to  New  York — Foundation  in  Can- 
ada— Death  of  Mother  Galitzin — 1842- 

1844   85-102 

XL — Transfer  of  the  Academy  to  Astoria — 
Purchase  of  the  Lorillard  Estate — 

1844-1847 103-114 

XII. — Early  Days  at  Manhattanville — Letter 
of  Bishop  Hughes — Day  School  in  New 

York — 1847-1849 115-129 

XIII. — Foundations  at  Eden  Hall — Halifax — 
Buffalo — Ceremonies  in  the  Manhattan- 
ville Chapel — 1847-1851 130-142 

XIV. — Foundation  of  the  Academy  and  Orphan- 
age in  Detroit — Mother  Hardey  At- 
tends the  Council  of  1851 — Foundation 
in  Albany — Cholera  in  Buffalo — Death 

of  Mother  Duchesne — 1851-1852 143-156 

XV. — New  York  Day  School — Visit  of  Mon- 
seigneur  Bedini,  Papal  Nuncio — Edify- 
ing Deaths — 1852-1853 157-169 

XVI. — Foundation  in  Chile — Troubles  in  De- 
troit— 1853-1854  170-181 

X VI L— Foundations :  St.  John,  N.  B—  Rochester 
— London — Sault-au-Recollet — Havana 

—1854-1858 182-198 

XVIII. — Manhattanville  Pupils — Letters  of  Arch- 
bishop Hughes  and  Mother  Barat — So- 
journ of  the  Bishop  of  Puebla  at  Man- 
hattanville— Foundation  at  Kenwood — 
1858-1860 199-221 

xii 


CHAPTER.  PAGE. 

XIX. — Mother  Hardey's  Visit  to  Paris— On  Her 
Return  She  Visits  the  Houses  of  the 
Vicariate — Foundation  in  Montreal — 
1860-1861  222-237 

XX. — Civil  War  in  the  United  States — Foun- 
dation of  Sancto  Spiritu — Letters  of 
Reverend  Father  Gresselin,  S.  J.,  Her 
Director— 1861-1864 238-252 

XXL— Death  of  Archbishop  Hughes— Eighth 
General  Council — Death  of  Mother 
Barat— 1864-1867  253-282 

XXII. — Difficulties  in  Havana — Death  of  Mother 
Trincano — Mother  Hardey  Visits  the 
Pottowatomie  Missions — Attends  Re- 
treat of  Superiors  in  Paris — 1867- 1869.. 283-295 

XXIII. — Foundation  in  Cincinnati — Mother  Har- 
dey Resumes  the  Government  of  Man- 
hattanville— Foundation  of  Rosecroft, 
Maryland — 1869-1871  297-307 

XXIV. — Mother  Hardey  Appointed  Assistant 
General  and  Visitatrix  of  the  Convents 
of  North  America — Departure  for 
France — 1871-1872  308-321 

XXV. — Mother  Hardey,  Assistant  General  in 
Paris — Foundation  of  Elmhurst,  Provi- 
dence— Visit  to  America — Return  to 
France — Apostolic  School — 1872- 1876.. 322-331 

XXVI. — Mother  Hardey  Visits  Houses  in  Spain — 
Her  Golden  Jubilee — Second  Visit  to 
Havana — 1876-1878 332-348 

XXVIL— Mother  Hardey  Charged  with  the  Proba- 
tionists — Visit  to  Belgium — Deaths  of 
Religious  in  America — 1878-1880 349-359 


Xlll 


CHAPTER.  PAGE. 

XXVIII.— Mother  Hardey  Visits  England  and  Ire- 
land— Superior  of  the  Paris  Day 
School — Last  Visit  to  America — 1880- 

1884   360-371 

XXIX. — Characteristic   Virtues   of   Mother   Har- 
dey    372-382 

XXX. — Last  Days  and  Death  of  Mother  Hardey 
—Temporary  Tomb  at  Conflans — Final 
Interment  at  Kenwood — 1884-1886.  ..  .383-401 

INDEX    403-405 


xiv 


ILLUSTRATIONS 


Mother  Mary  Aloysia  Hardey Frontispiece 

Blessed  Madeleine  Sophie  Barat        -    -     Facing  page     16 

Tomb  of  Mother  Duchesne  and  First  Con- 
vents        ----- "  "        40 

First  New  York  Convent "  "80 

Old  Manhattanville    -    -    - "  "120 

Eden  Hall        "  "136 

Convents  on  Seventeenth  Street  and  Madi- 
son Avenue,  New  York       -     -     -     -  "  "      160 

Detroit,  Rochester  and  Grosse  Pointe  Con- 
vents       -     -     -     -     -  "  "184 

Mother  House,  Paris --"  "     216 

Houses  at  Atlantic  City  and  Philadelphia  "  "     248 

Maryville,    Clifton,    St.    Charles',    and    St. 

Joseph's  Convents    ------  "  "      296 

London,  Halifax,  Sault-au-Recollet    -    -     -  "  "      312 

Houses  in  Providence  and  Boston     -     -  "  "      328 

Convents  in  Havana  and  Porto  Rico    -    -  "  "     344 

Kenwood "  "     376 

<  Mother  Hardey's  Grave "  "400 


CHAPTER  I. 

BIRTH  AND  CHILDHOOD  OF  MARY  HARDEY. 
1809-1819. 

As  we  trace  the  lineage  of  Mother  Mary  Aloysia  Hardey, 
we  turn  to  one  of  the  brightest  pages  in  the  history  of 
America.  It  records  the  eventful  day,  when,  under  the 
leadership  of  Leonard  Calvert,  a  company  of  English  Cath- 
olics sailed  from  their  native  land  to  lay  the  foundations  of 
civil  and  religious  liberty  in  the  New  World. 

Voluntary  exiles  from  the  home  of  their  fathers,  rather 
than  renounce  the  glorious  inheritance  of  the  Catholic 
Faith,  they  broke  the  ties  that  bound  them  to  their  country 
and  crossed  the  seas  to  find  a  resting  place  in  the  wilds  of 
America.  On  the  joyful  Feast  of  the  Annunciation,  1634, 
they  landed  on  the  shores  of  Maryland,  and,  like  Christo- 
pher Columbus,  took  possession  of  the  land,  by  uplifting  the 
Cross,  the  emblem  of  salvation,  under  whose  peaceful  shade 
their  future  home  was  to  be  consecrated  to  the  sacred 
interests  of  humanity  and  the  Church. 

Among  these  high  souled  pilgrims  was  Nicholas  Hardey, 
a  man  of  undaunted  courage  and  of  unflinching  fidelity  to 
his  faith.  When  Clayborne  raised  the  standard  of  rebellion 
in  Maryland,  and  sought  to  overthrow  the  Catholic  rule  in 
the  Colony,  Nicholas  resisted  him  with  all  the  energy  of 
his  strong  character.  Having  learned,  to  his  dismay,  that 
a  man  named  Hardy  was  among  the  followers  of  Clayborne, 
and  fearing  to  be  confounded  with  this  fanatical  marauder, 
he  inserted  the  letter  "  e "  in  his  name,  declaring  that 
through  succeeding  generations  it  should  distinguish  his 
family  from  the  descendants  of  the  man  who  had  abandoned 
the  ancient  Faith. 

Anthony,  the  grandfather  of  Mary  Hardey,  came  in 
direct  line  from  this  loyal  son  of  Mother  Church,  and  was 


MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

well  known  in  colonial  times  throughout  Maryland  and 
Virginia.  He  lived  near  Alexandria,  the  home  of  George 
Washington,  and  was,  in  his  youth,  an  intimate  friend  of 
the  future  champion  of  American  independence.  The  two 
boys  were  of  congenial  temperaments,  both  of  them  light 
hearted,  gentle  and  fond  of  athletic  sports. 

When  in  after  years  Anthony  Hardey  referred  to  their 
excursions  through  the  woods,  or  along  the  banks  of  the 
Potomac,  it  afforded  him  pleasure  to  relate  how,  in  their 
feats  of  strength,  he  delighted  to  show  his  physical  superior- 
ity, "  but  not  for  worlds,"  he  always  added,  "  would  I  have 
harmed  my  comrade,  for  I  considered  him  a  type  of  all  that 
is  gentle  and  manly  in  youth." 

Frederick,  the  third  son  of  Anthony,  inherited  the  win- 
ning qualities  of  his  father.  In  the  year  1800  he  married 
Sarah  Spalding,  and  made  his  home  in  Piscataway,  a  village 
famous  in  the  annals  of  Maryland.  It  is  situated  on  Piscat- 
away Creek,  an  arm  of  the  Potomac.  It  was  the  very  place 
where  the  Colonists  planted  the  Cross  when  they  landed  on 
the  shores  of  Maryland.  Here,  Chilomacon,  Chief  of  the 
Piscataway  Indians,  gave  the  white  men  a  cordial  greeting 
and  bade  them  share  the  products  of  his  fields  of  maize  and 
the  results  of  his  chase.  This  friendliness  was  rewarded  by 
the  gift  of  Faith,  for  a  few  years  later,  1640,  the  Chief,  with 
his  wife  and  daughter,  received  the  Sacrament  of  Baptism 
at  the  hands  of  Father  White,  the  Jesuit  missionary.  It 
was  an  imposing  scene,  for  Governor  Calvert  and  his  officers 
had  traversed  the  wilderness  to  greet  the  red  men  as  breth- 
ren in  the  House  of  God.  A  cross  was  erected  at  Piscataway 
to  commemorate  the  event ;  the  priests  chanted  the  Litany, 
while  the  Indians,  decked  out  in  their  bright  robes  and 
gorgeous  plumes,  followed  the  Governor  and  his  attendants 
in  the  procession  which  closed  the  solemnity. 

The  lingering  traditions  of  this  event,  so  full  of  faith 
and  piety,  must  have  given  the  spot  a  special  charm  for 
Frederick  William  Hardey  and  his  bride,  as  each  had  in- 

2 


BIRTH  AND  CHILDHOOD 

herited  from  a  long  line  of  ancestors  a  deep  love  for  the 
Church. 

Life  opened  with  fair  promise  for  the  young  couple, 
whose  highest  pledge  of  happiness  rested  in  their  mutual 
love  and  trust.  Nine  children  were  born  to  them,  four  sons 
and  five  daughters,  but  the  child  of  benediction  for  the 
household  was  Mary,  who  was  destined  by  God  to  exercise 
so  wide  an  influence  in  the  religious  Congregation  which 
now  reveres  her  memory.  She  was  born  on  the  Feast  of  the 
Immaculate  Conception,  December  8,  1809,  and  was  bap- 
tized Mary  in  thanksgiving  to  the  Mother  of  God. 

About  a  year  after  her  birth  the  homestead  was  glad- 
dened by  a  visit  from  Mrs.  Hardey's  mother,  "  Good  Grand- 
mother Spalding,"  as  she  was  familiarly  called.  Mrs.  Spald- 
ing's  stay  was  brief,  as  there  was  an  epidemic  of  whooping 
cough  in  the  neighborhood,  and,  fearing  that  Mary  might 
catch  the  disease,  she  insisted  upon  taking  her  and  her  faith- 
ful nurse,  Betty  Edelin,  to  Baltimore. 

The  mother's  sacrifice  became  the  grandmother's  joy, 
for  owing  to  various  circumstances  the  child's  sojourn  was 
indefinitely  prolonged. 

As  Mary  advanced  in  age  her  beauty  enhanced,  her  large 
gray  eyes,  her  symmetrical  features,  golden  hair  and  intelli- 
gent countenance  made  her  the  delight  of  the  home.  In  dis- 
position she  was  playful  and  active,  but  unusually  thought- 
ful fop  a  child.  Her  firmness  of  character  and  strength  of 
will,  which  distinguished  her  in  after  life,  soon  displayed 
themselves.  There  is  an  amusing  instance  of  it  even  in  her 
nursery  days  which  may  be  worth  recalling.  One  day  Mrs. 
Spalding  presented  her  with  a  pair  of  red  shoes ;  with  quiet, 
dignity  Mary  refused  to  accept  them,  saying  she  did  not 
like  colored  shoes.  The  following  day  Aunt  Betty  produced 
them  again  at  the  morning  toilet,  but  coaxing  and  threats 
were  unavailing,  the  little  feet  were  kept  secure  beneath  the 
robe  of  their  ungracious  mistress.  At  length  Betty  became 
indignant,  and  Mary  feigned  surrender,  but  no  sooner  was 


MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

Ihe  shoe  partly  on  than,  raising  her  foot,  she  tossed  it  across 
the  room.  Subsequent  efforts  were  equally  unsuccessful, 
though  colored  shoes  were  quite  the  fashion  for  children  of 
that  period. 

She  was  six  years  of  age  when  she  returned  to  her  own 
home,  but  she  was  almost  a  stranger  there,  and  had  to  form 
acquaintance  with  her  three  sisters,  two  of  whom  had  made 
their  appearance  in  the  family  during  her  absence. .  Until 
then  she  had  been  the  delight  of  her  grandfather  and  queen 
of  his  home.  But  conditions  were  now  changed,  there  were 
others  to  share  the  paternal  caresses,  and  she  felt  the  in- 
trusion keenly.  Even  in  her  old  age,  Mother  Hardey  often 
spoke  of  the  pain  which  she  then  experienced.  The  pene- 
trating glance  of  Mrs.  Hardey  was  quick  to  perceive  this 
early  sorrow,  and  she  sought  every  means  of  insinuating 
herself  into  the  affection  of  her  little  daughter,  until,  by 
degrees,  she  gained  full  possession  of  her  heart. 

Mary  was  a  lovable  character,  yet  we  cannot  paint  her 
earliest  years  wholly  in  bright  colors.  Occasional  out- 
bursts of  temper  revealed  in  her  a  passionate  nature. 
Of  a  domineering  spirit,  she  often  quarreled  with  her  play- 
mates, for  which  she  was  usually  punished  by  being  put  in  a 
corner  with  her  face  to  the  wall,  a  humiliation  which  she 
felt  deeply,  often  giving  vent  to  her  feelings  in  various 
ways.  Indeed,  it  became  a  subject  of  family  concern  when 
they  saw  her  strong  passions  striving  for  mastery. 

The  year  1803  is  noted  in  the  history  of  America  as  the 
date  of  the  Louisiana  Purchase.  When  this  vast  territory 
came  into  the  possession  of  the  United  States  a  tide  of 
emigration  flowed  steadily  for  a  number  of  years  in  the 
direction  of  the  Mexican  Gulf. 

Among  the  pioneers  from  Maryland  was  Mr.  Charles 
Anthony  Hardey,  who  fixed  his  residence  in  Lower  Louisi- 
ana. His  letters  to  friends  at  home  were  filled  with  praise 
of  the  fertile  lands  bordering  on  the  Mississippi,  their  luxuri- 
ant growth  of  cotton  and  sugar  cane,  which  yield  stores  of 


BIRTH  AND  CHILDHOOD 

wealth  in  return  for  the  planter's  toil.  He  urged  his  brother 
Frederick  to  leave  Maryland  and  come  to  share  his  large 
plantation  in  Grand  Coteau.  The  offering  was  tempting  to 
parents  whose  dearest  interest  was  the  welfare  of  their 
children.  Prince  George  County  afforded  them  a  comfort- 
able livelihood,  but  Louisiana  abounded  in  facilities  for 
amassing  a  fortune.  Mrs.  Spalding  did  not  recoil  before  the 
sacrifice  of  separation  from  parents  and  friends.  She  per- 
suaded her  husband  to  accept  the  proffered  home  in  the 
South,  and  preparations  were  at  once  made  for  the  journey. 
Mr.  Spalding  was  generous  in  providing  his  daughter  with 
slaves,  money,  household  furniture,  all  indeed  that  was 
necessary  to  begin  life  amid  new  scenes.  With  four  little 
children,  one  a  tender  infant,  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Hardey  started 
on  their  perilous  journey.  It  is  difficult  for  us  to  conceive 
the  hardships  of  travel  a  hundred  years  ago.  The  journey 
which  can  now  be  accomplished  in  a  few  days,  then  required 
three  or  four  months.  It  was  made  in  emigrant  wagons 
across  the  Alleghany  Mountains  to  Pittsburg,  then  in  flat 
boats,  or  arks,  as  they  were  called,  down  the  Mississippi  to 
New  Orleans.  In  course  of  time  the  travelers  arrived  at 
Grand  Coteau,  but  the  joyful  days  of  welcome  were  soon 
clouded  by  an  unexpected  blow.  Mr.  Charles  Hardey  died 
after  a  brief  illness,  leaving  his  brother  Frederick  heir  to 
his  extensive  tracts  of  land. 

After  some  years  the  Hardey  plantation  became  a  sort 
of  hamlet,  comprising  the  family  dwelling,  sugar  mills,  cot- 
ton warehouses,  granaries,  trade  shops,  and  a  row  of  huts, 
divided  by  gardens,  known  as  "  Negro  Quarters."  About 
seventy  or  eighty  plantations  made  up  the  parish  of  St. 
Landry.  They  centred  round  a  modest  church,  whose  cross 
betokened  the  faith  of  those  that  lived  in  its  holy  shadow 
and  slept  their  last  sleep  in  the  cemetery  beneath.  At  this 
period  a  large  plantation  presented  a  wide  field  for  the 
exercise  of  Christian  virtues  and  a  great  mission  for  the 
women  of  the  South.  The  Catholics  accepted  it,  and  the 


MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

traditions  of  the  past  reveal  how  nobly  many  a  one  fulfilled 
her  duties  in  that  respect.  Life  in  those  southern  lands  was 
almost  patriarchal.  Hospitality  seemed  ever  waiting  at  the 
threshold.  Friends  gathered  in,  rarely  for  a  passing  call, 
but  for  a  visit  of  days,  even  weeks.  Whoever  the  guest 
might  be — friend  or  stranger — he  was  greeted  with  a  hearty 
welcome  and  feasted  at  the  family  board. 

The  welfare  of  the  slave  was  not  overlooked  in  the  re- 
sponsible mission  of  the  Southern  woman.  In  the  early 
morning,  at  the  sound  of  a  bell,  the  negroes  were  awakened 
for  the  labors  of  the  day,  and  in  Catholic  families  it  was 
customary  for  them  to  gather  round  the  master  for  morning 
prayer.  The  moment  was  a  solemn  one,  consecrating  the 
slaves'  long  hours  of  toil, — but  more  solemn  still  was  the 
evening  hour,  when  twilight  fell  upon  the  scene,  and  the 
whole  household  grouped  around  the  father  of  the  family, 
who  lifted  up  his  voice  in  thanksgiving  for  the  blessings  of 
the  day  and  in  supplication  for  God's  loving  care  through 
the  coming  night. 

It  was  in  sickness  that  the  relationship  between  master 
and  slave  was  seen  under  its  fairest  aspect.  The  care  be- 
stowed upon  the  negroes  was  scarcely  less  paternal  than 
the  attention  given  to  the  children  of  the  master.  The  in- 
stitution of  slavery  was  indeed  a  dark  cloud  on  the  horizon, 
yet  the  unprejudiced  mind  will  acknowledge  that  the  negro's 
shackles  were  not  always  the  fetters  of  the  slave. 

When  the  Act  of  Emancipation  broke  their  bonds  many 
of  the  slaves  of  the  Hardey  family  clung  to  their  former 
master  with  an  affection  and  devotion  which  lasted  until 
death.  The  home  was  the  primary  school  of  those 
days.  It  was  at  the  family  hearth  that  Mary  Hardey 
learned  her  first  lessons  of  faith  and  piety.  Mrs.  Hardey 
possessed  the  gift  of  explaining  the  truths  of  religion  in  a 
manner  intelligible  to  the  minds  and  attractive  to  the  hearts 
of  her  children.  "  My  mother  was  a  saint,"  Mother  Hardey 
was  heard  to  say  in  speaking  of  her  early  life.  "  She  had 

6 


BIRTH  AND  CHILDHOOD 

pious  pictures  hanging  in  every  room  of  the  house.  We 
knew  by  heart  the  history  of  each  subject,  and,  as  a  reward 
for  good  behavior,  we  might  claim  our  favorite  Madonna 
and  keep  possession  of  it  until  our  next  offence.  Reverence 
for  the  priest  was  a  characteristic  of  the  household.  When 
a  missionary  chanced  to  rest  under  our  roof  we  were  taught 
to  kneel  and  kiss  his  hands;  'an  honor  due  thern/  my 
mother  used  to  say,  '  since  they  are  consecrated  hands  and 
are  privileged  to  offer  the  Holy  Sacrifice  of  the  Altar.'  " 

To  the  Christian  training  of  such  a  mother  may  be  at- 
tributed Mary's  growth  in  the  knowledge  and  love  of  God, 
and  her  devotedness  later  on  in  His  service.  When  only 
eight  years  of  age  she  was  permitted  to  receive  her  First 
Holy  Communion.  She  had  been  attending  the  Catechism 
class  with  her  older  sister  Anne.  Being  so  young  she  was 
not  expected  to  be  ready;  but  one  day  the  priest  asked  a 
question  which  none  of  the  other  children  could  answer. 
Mary  arose  and  with  childlike  simplicity  gave  the  explana- 
tion. It  was  proof  enough  that  she  was  prepared. 

A  few  of  Mrs.  Hardey's  letters  to  her  family  in  Maryland 
have  been  preserved.  They  are  interesting,  because  they 
give  us  a  clearer  insight  into  her  own  character,  and  furnish 
us  with  occasional  glimpses  of  Mary's  early  life.  The  fol- 
lowing was  addressed  to  her  sister,  Ellen  Spalding,  after  the 
death  of  her  beloved  mother : 

"  OPELOUSAS,  LA.,  July  25,  1820. 

"  MY  DEAR  LITTLE  SlSTER : 

"  Your  kind  letter  of  the  6th  of  June  came  safely  to  hand, 
with  the  melancholy  news  of  my  dear  mother's  death,  news 
that  I  expected  to  hear,  for  from  the  account  brother  Michael 
gave  me  in  his  last  letter,  I  could  hardly  flatter  myself 
with  the  hope  that  she  would  live  through  the  summer.  I 
am  very  sorry  to  hear  of  my  father's  state  of  health.  I 
hope  he  has  not  lost  his  speech.  You  must  tell  me  in  your 
next  letter.  Ellen,  if  it  should  be  the  holy  will  of  God  to 


MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

take  both  your  parents,  bear  it  with  fortitude  and  thanks- 
giving to  Almighty  God  for  His  Infinite  Goodness  in  spar- 
ing them  to  you  till  the  age  of  maturity,  and  for  letting  you 
have  the  pleasure  of  waiting  on  them  in  their  last  moments. 
This  reflection  is  enough  to  comfort  you,  I  think,  for  it  is 
the  greatest  consolation  a  child  may  have.  My  dear  sister, 
you  are  not  sensible  of  the  loss  you  have  sustained,  for  you 
never  have  been  long  separated  from  your  mother;  there- 
fore you  cannot  know  yet  what  that  trial  is.  But,  my  dear 
little  girl,  I  can  tell  you  that  your  loss  is  irreparable.  This 
side  of  the  grave  no  person  is  like  a  mother  to  a  girl  of  your 
age.  Let  my  Ellen  be  ever  so  prudent,  she  needs  a  guide 
and  counsellor.  You  cannot  be  too  prudent  in  regard  to 
your  visiting  and  your  visitors.  You  are  lonely,  no  doubt, 
but  you  know  you  are  always  in  good  company.  When  your 
earthly  friends  are  obliged  to  leave  you,  call  on  the  Holy 
names  of  Jesus,  Mary,  Joseph — company  that  will  ever  re- 
main with  you,  provided  you  wish  to  remain  with  them. 
My  dear,  you  may  be  sure  I  will  do  all  I  can  for  my  dear 
mother's  soul. 

"  Answer  Anne's  letter  as  soon  as  you  receive  it.  My 
love  to  all  my  sisters  and  brothers.  Your  devoted  sister, 

"  SALLY  HARDEY." 

A  few  months  later  Mrs.  Hardey  wrote  a  second  letter 
to  the  same  sister : 

"  OPELOUSAS,  LA.,   December   12,   1820. 
"  MY  DEAR  SISTER  : 

"  Your  letter  of  October  2Oth  came  safe  to  hand  on  the 
6th  of  this  month.  It  found  us  all  well  except  myself.  I  have 
not  entirely  recovered  from  my  long  confinement,  which  be- 
gan the  first  of  October.  On  that  night  I  introduced  a 
stranger  into  the  family,  a  fine,  strong,  ugly  boy,  George 
Raphael  by  name. 

"  So  you  still  have  the  happiness  of  waiting  on  our 
afflicted  father.  Oh !  Ellen,  I  fear  you  do  not  realize  the 

8 


BIRTH  AND  CHILDHOOD 

great  privilege  Almighty  God  has  been  pleased  to  grant  you. 
Ah !  my  dear,  if  you  only  knew  the  grief  I  experience  in 
being  separated  from  him  you  would  appreciate  your  happi- 
ness. 

"  I  am  very  sorry  to  hear  of  Uncle  Hilary's  death,  and  I 
should  be  glad  to  have  particulars  of  it.  I  am  truly  happy 
to  hear  that  one  of  our  good  aunts  stays  with  you.  I  think 
they  could  not  please  their  deceased  sister  more  than  by 
staying  with  you  in  your  present  state.  I  hope  my  Ellen 
will  be  very  particular  in  her  visits.  Never  pay  one  without 
consulting  your  aunts  or  your  brothers.  As  your  sisters 
have  families  you  know  they  must  attend  to  them,  so,  of 
course,  they  cannot  spend  much  time  with  you 

"  Do  mention  to  father  my  proposal  of  having  you  and 
all  our  family  come  here  after  his  death." 

Under  date  of  December  20,  this  letter  is  continued,  as 
follows : 

"  MY  DEAR  SISTER  : 

"  Your  letter  of  November  6th  arrived  here  on  the  loth  of 
this  month,  but  I  did  not  receive  it  until  to-day.  It  con- 
tained the  news  that  I  expected  from  your  last  letter.  You 
have  had  time  to  fortify  yourself  to  bear  bravely  the  death 
of  one  of  the  best  of  fathers.  I  hope  you  will  not  grieve 
much,  for  you  know  that  does  not  help  the  departed  soul. 
Prayer  is  all  the  comfort  we  can  give  him  now.  I  shall 
have  Mass  said  for  him  after  Christmas. 

"  I  hope  you  will  consider  the  welfare  of  your  soul  and 
body  and  accept  the  invitation  of  a  brother  and  sister,  who 
think  you  could  do  better  by  coming  here  than  by  remaining 
where  you  are. 

"My  dear,  do  not  think  I  would  send  you  this  invitation 
without  providing  you  with  an  escort  upon  whom  you  can 
rely,  as  you  could  on  a  father  or  brother. 

"Your  nieces  all  go  to  school  this  year;  it  will  soon  be 
over;  then  I  shall  have  the  pleasure  of  their  company  all 


MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

day.  I  assure  you,  Anne  and  Mary  are  great  company  for 
me,  and  also  a  great  assistance.  One  is  a  good  nurse,  the 
other  a  good  housekeeper.  They  had  a  real  trial  this  fall 
when  I  was  sick. 

"  Ellen,  you  must  take  care  of  the  books  that  our  father 
procured  for  the  instruction  of  his  children.  You  must 
write  to  me  often  and  tell  my  brothers  also  to  write. 

"  Mr.  Hardey  joins  me  in  love  to  you ;  my  children  also ; 
they  often  speak  of  you.  Your  affectionate  sister, 

"  SALLY  HARDEY." 

Up  to  that  time,  as  we  see  from  the  letters,  little  Mary 
was  attending  the  village  school  and  devoting  herself  to  her 
home  duties,  but  this  happy  period  of  her  life  was  drawing 
to  a  close.  An  Academy  of  the  Sacred  Heart  was  about  to 
open  its  portals  to  the  daughters  of  Louisiana,  and  in  the  de- 
signs of  God  Mary  Hardey  was  to  be  one  of  its  first  pupils. 


10 


CHAPTER   II. 

ORIGIN  OF  THE  SOCIETY  OF  THE  SACRED  HEART. 
1800. 

Before  relating  the  history  of  the  Academy  which  was 
about  to  be  established  in  Louisiana,  we  shall  record  briefly 
the  events  which  called  into  existence  the  Society  of  the 
Sacred  Heart  of  Jesus. 

During  the  last  decade  of  the  i8th  Century,  while  Europe 
was  convulsed  by  revolutions,  a  small  number  of  French 
priests,  who  had  withdrawn  from  Germany,  formed  an  as- 
sociation, under  the  title  of  "  Fathers  of  the  Sacred  Heart," 
resolving  to  live  together  according  to  the  Rule  of  St.  Ig- 
natius until,  in  the  providence  of  God,  the  Company  of  Jesus 
should  be  awakened  into  new  life. 

Their  Superior,  Father  de  Tournely,  was  a  man  of  faith 
and  prayer,  filled  with  zeal  for  the  Glory  of  God  and  the 
salvation  of  souls.  The  object  dearest  to  his  heart  was  to 
provide  means  of  education  for  the  youth  of  France,  hoping 
thereby  to  raise  upon  the  ruins  of  the  past  a  generation  de- 
voted to  the  service  of  Christ  and  the  interests  of  the 
Church. 

To  accomplish  this  aim,  he  felt  that  it  would  be  neces- 
sary to  found  a  similar  community  for  women  for  the  train- 
ing of  the  future  wives  and  mothers  of  France. 

He  intended  that  the  Heart  of  Jesus  should  be  the  centre 
and  model  of  the  new  congregation,  and  that  it  should  adopt, 
as  far  as  might  be  practicable,  the  Rule  of  St.  Ignatius. 

Father  de  Tournely  did  not  live  to  see  the  desire  of  his 
heart  accomplished.  He  died  on  the  9th  of  July,  1797.  Dur- 
ing his  last  illness  the  only  thought  of  earthly  things  that 
occupied  his  mind  was  the  society  he  had  planned,  and  he 
often  spoke  of  it  to  Father  Varin.  "  My  friend,  you  know 
all ;  I  have  told  you  everything.  Do  not  act  in  a  hurry,  but 
await  God's  time." 

II 


MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

These  words,  spoken  a  short  time  before  his  death, 
seemed  prophetic:  "It  will  be  founded!  It  will  be 
founded !  " 

Father  Varin,  who  was  elected  to  fill  his  place  as  su- 
perior of  the  little  Society,  was  chosen  by  Providence  to 
execute  his  plans.  Having  gone  to  Paris  a  few  years  later 
he  received  into  his  community  a  young  priest  named  Louis 
Barat,  who  was  destined  to  point  out  to  him  the  future 
foundress  of  the  Society  of  the  Sacred  Heart. 

One  day  Father  Varin  asked  Louis  whether  any  tie 
bound  him  to  the  world.  The  young  priest  answered  that 
he  had  a  little  sister  in  whom  he  was  much  interested. 
"  These  words  struck  me  very  forcibly,"  relates  Father 
Varin.  "  I  asked  her  age,  what  she  could  do.  He  replied 
that  she  was  between  nineteen  and  twenty,  that  she  had 
learned  Latin  and  Greek,  that  she  could  translate  Homer 
and  Virgil  fluently,  and  had  capacity  enough  to  make  a  good 
rhetorician ;  that  she  had  thought  of  entering  a  Carmelite 
Convent,  but  just  then  she  was  spending  some  weeks  with 
her  family."  This  "  little  sister ''  was  Madeleine  Sophie 
Barat.  A  month  later  she  returned  to  Paris  and  was  pre- 
sented to  Father  Varin. 

He  soon  perceived  in  the  young  girl  great  simplicity  and 
humility  combined  with  the  highest  intellectual  gifts. 

Father  Barat,  her  only  tutor,  had  accomplished  his  self- 
imposed  task  with  unbounded  energy,  yet  he  had  not 
dreamed  that  he  was  training  the  foundress  of  a  religious 
congregation  which  was  destined  to  exert  a  vast  influence 
on  Catholic  education,  not  only  in  France,  but  in  nearly 
every  country  of  the  Old  and  New  Worlds. 

At  that  time  she  was  living  in  the  house  of  Madame 
Duval,  No.  2  rue  de  Touraine.  Associated  with  her  in  her 
studies  and  good  works  was  Octavie  Bailly,  who,  like  her- 
self, was  attracted  to  the  religious  life ;  Mademoiselle  Lo- 
quet,  a  very  pious  and  intelligent  lady,  noted  for  her  talents 
and  her  charitable  enterprises,  also  lived  with  them. 

12 


ORIGIN  OF  THE  SOCIETY 

Father  Varin  had  recognized  in  these  ladies  a  vocation  to 
the  religious  life,  but  at  first  he  did  not  see  clearly  the  will  of 
God  in  their  regard.  They  began  a  course  of  study  under 
his  direction  and  enjoyed  meanwhile  the  benefit  of  his  spir- 
itual training. 

One  day  he  asked  Sophie  Barat  what  plans  she  had 
formed  for  her  future.  She  replied  that  she  felt  called  to 
the  religious  state,  preferably  the  Order  of  Carmelites ;  as 
their  life  seemed  to  unite  great  love  for  Jesus  Christ,  with 
an  heroic  spirit  of  sacrifice. 

The  answer  pleased  her  director,  and  at  once  he  unfolded 
to  her  his  plans  for  the  institute  he  intended  to  found,  point- 
ing out  to  her  that,  in  addition  to  the  love  and  spirit  of  sacri- 
fice required  by  the  Rule  of  Carmel,  it  would  ask  a  generous 
devotedness  for  the  salvation  of  souls ;  one  of  its  chief  ends 
being  the  education  of  young  girls.  He  then  dwelt  upon 
the  educational  advantages  she  had  received,  representing 
that  they  fitted  her  in  a  peculiar  manner  for  this  great  enter- 
prise, so  important  for  the  revival  of  Faith  in  France.  He 
concluded  by  assuring  her  that  she  was  called  by  God  to 
serve  Him  in  this  new  institute,  which  was  to  be  devoted 
to  the  glory  of  the  Sacred  Heart  of  Jesus. 

Her  humility  caused  her  to  shrink  from  such  an  under- 
taking, but  she  submitted  to  Father  Varin's  decision,  and 
ere  long  the  little  group  of  friends  at  Madame  Duval's  house 
was  formed  into  a  religious  community.  They  were  Sophie 
Barat,  Octavie  Bailly  and  Mile.  Loquet,  with  Marguerite, 
Madame  Duval's  servant,  a  pious  and  earnest  soul,  who 
joined  them  as  lay  sister. 

On  the  Feast  of  the  Presentation,  2ist  of  November, 
1800,  Mass  was  celebrated  in  the  little  chapel,  Rue  de  Tour- 
aine,  and  the  four  postulants  pronounced  their  vow  of  con- 
secration to  the  Sacred  Heart. 

In  the  following  May,  1801,  the  first  house  of  the  Society 
was  established  at  Amiens.  The  Heart  of  Jesus  blessed 
abundantly  the  work  commenced  in  lowliness  and  gener- 

13 


MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

osity  of  spirit.  The  ranks  of  the  religious  filled  rapidly. 
Academies  were  opened  in  Grenoble,  Poitiers,  Niort,  and 
other  cities  of  France,  and  in  1815  a  general  novitiate  was 
founded  in  Paris,  under  the  direction  of  Mother  Barat, 
where,  as  from  a  central  point,  she  governed  the  various 
communities  of  her  Institute.  The  little  seed,  planted  among 
the  ruins  of  the  revolution,  had  sprung  up  into  a  fruitful 
tree,  and  before  eighteen  years  had  elapsed  it  spread  its 
branches  afar,  even  to  the  distant  shores  of  the  New  World. 


CHAPTER   III. 

FOUNDATION   OF  THE   SOCIETY  OF  THE   SACRED   HEART   IN 
AMERICA — ST.  CHARLES,  MISSOURI — 1818-1821. 

The  young-  Republic  of  America,  after  separating  from 
the  Mother  Country,  entered  at  once  upon  a  life  of  intense 
energy,  and  the  Church  was  not  the  last  to  feel  the  inspira- 
tion of  freedom.  Before  the  close  of  the  eighteenth  century 
the  Orders  of  Carmel  and  the  Visitation  were  established 
in  the  United  States.  The  first  decade  of  the  nineteenth 
century  saw  the  birth  of  Mother  Seton's  Congregation  in 
Maryland,  and  about  the  same  time  two  religious  communi- 
ties sprang  up  in  the  newly  settled  regions  of  the  far  west, 
the  Lorettines  and  the  Sisters  of  Nazareth  in  Kentucky. 
A  little  later  came  the  daughters  of  St.  Dominic.  On  the 
Atlantic  Coast,  the  Ursulines  had  founded  convents  in  New 
York  and  Boston,  but  their  sojourn  in  the  former  city  was 
of  short  duration. 

When,  in  1815,  Bishop  Dubourg  was  appointed  to  the 
See  of  New  Orleans,  his  first  care  was  to  provide  educational 
establishments  for  the  children  of  his  vast  diocese.  In  New 
Orleans  he  found  a  flourishing  Academy  conducted  by  the 
Ursulines,  but  it  was  insufficient  for  the  increasing  growth 
of  the  Catholic  population.  Hence,  when  in  Paris,  he  made 
application  to  Mother  Barat  for  a  colony  of  her  nuns.  The 
heart  of  the  foundress  responded  to  his  appeal,  but  her  judg- 
ment made  her  hesitate.  Her  Institute  was  new,  and  the 
members  scarcely  sufficed  for  the  work  already  undertaken. 
But  when  God  wills,  all  obstacles  give  way.  He  had  been 
silently  preparing,  among  the  daughters  of  the  Sacred  Heart, 
an  apostle  for  the  American  Mission,  in  the  person  of 
Madame  Philippine  Duchesne. 

This  heroic  woman  was  in  the  Paris  convent  when  the 

15 


MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

Bishop  called,  and  knowing  the  object  of  his  visit,  she  be- 
sought the  Mother  General  to  give  a  favorable  answer. 

Her  pleadings  and  representations  convinced  Mother 
Barat  that  the  foreign  mission  should  be  accepted,  so  she 
promised  the  Bishop  that  she  would  prepare  a  little  colony 
to  start  for  Louisiana  in  the  course  of  the  following  Spring. 

Mother  Duchesne's  burning  zeal  communicated  itself  to 
her  sisters,  many  of  whom  offered  to  accompany  her,  but 
three  only  were  chosen. 

A  brief  notice  of  these  pioneers  may  be  of  interest  to  the 
reader. 

Philippine  Duchesne  was  born  in  Grenoble,  France,  on 
the  29th  of  August,  1769.  She  belonged  to  a  Christian  fam- 
ily which  was  noted  for  strong  faith  and  rare  qualities  of 
mind  and  heart.  From  her  tenderest  years  she  was  trained 
in  the  practice  of  piety  by  her  mother,  who  united  to  a  vig- 
orous intelligence  a  deep  love  for  the  Church.  Vocations  to 
the  religious  state  seemed  inherent  in  the  race  of  the  Du- 
chesnes,  and  for  more  than  a  century  before  the  revolution  its 
representatives  had  been  found  in  the  Community  of  the 
Visitation  Convent  of  Ste.  Marie,  Grenoble.  Philippine  was 
a  pupil  in  that  convent  and  afterwards  took  the  religious 
habit  there,  but  the  outbreak  of  the  revolution  obliged  her 
to  leave  the  convent  and  return  to  her  family.  But  though 
compelled  to  live  in  the  world  by  force  of  circumstances,  she 
never  forgot  the  sacred  vocation  to  which  God  called  her. 
Indeed,  the  very  house  where  she  had  been  a  nun  became 
the  centre  of  her  work,  as  it  was  converted  into  a  prison 
where  the  unfortunate  victims  of  the  Reign  of  Terror  were 
confined,  and  she,  in  spite  of  every  obstacle  organized  an 
association  for  their  relief.  Nor  was  she  satisfied  with  that. 
For  after  the  evil  days  had  passed  away,  and  the  convent 
was  declared  the  property  of  the  nation,  and  its  grounds 
made  a  public  park,  she  brought  such  influence  to  bear  on 
the  authorities  that  she  succeeded  in  securing  the  old  place 
and  endeavored  to  reunite  there  the  scattered  members  of 

16 


Blessed  Madeleine  Sophie  Barat 


FOUNDATION  IN  AMERICA 

her  community.  But  the  Sisters  that  returned  soon  aban- 
doned their  vocation  and  it  seemed  as  if  all  her  efforts  were 
doomed  to  failure.  But  "  to  them  that  love  God  all  things 
work  together  unto  good."  On  the  very  day  that  her  Sisters 
turned  forever  from  the  cloister  of  Sainte  Marie,  she  heard 
of  the  Society  of  the  Sacred  Heart.  At  once  she  felt  strong- 
ly attracted  towards  it  on  account  of  its  two-fold  spirit,  the 
active  and  the  contemplative  life,  and  she  entered  into  ne- 
gotiations with  Mother  Barat.  The  necessary  arrangements 
were  soon  made,  and  on  the  I3th  of  December,  1804,  Mother 
Barat,  accompanied  by  three  nuns,  arrived  at  Sainte  Marie 
and  took  possession  of  it  in  the  name  of  the  Sacred  Heart. 
Nor  was  she  long  in  discerning  the  worth  of  Madame  Du- 
chesne,  who  entered  with  ardor  upon  the  duties  of  her  new 
life.  A  multitude  of  good  works  filled  up  her  days  and  even 
kept  her  toiling  late  into  the  night.  But  her  soul  longed  for 
another  field  of  labor.  Her  yearnings  were  all  turned  to- 
wards the  foreign  missions.  To  make  Jesus  known  to  the 
Indian  tribes  of  the  New  World,  to  breathe  His  Name  into 
their  forest  wilds,  to  elevate  them  by  the  ennobling  influ- 
ences of  faith,  such  was  the  lofty  ambition  of  Madame  Du- 
chesne. 

She  mentioned  her  intentions  to  Mother  Barat,  and  later 
on  to  Father  Varin,  who  gave  them  his  approval,  and  made 
her  happy  by  the  assurance  that  one  day  she  would  extend 
the  glory  of  Christ  in  the  far-off  regions  of  America. 
Henceforth  her  life  shaped  itself  upon  the  hope  of  soon  real- 
izing her  ardent  longings.  During  the  recreation  hours,  she 
spoke  to  the  pupils  of  the  joy  of  making  Christ  known  in 
heathen  lands  with  the  rapture  of  one  assured  of  conquest. 
She  was  wont  to  conclude  by  asking:  "  Who  will  come  with 
me?"  One  of  her  pupils,  writing  of  those  early  days  at 
Sainte  Marie,  says :  "  If  the  ship  had  been  at  hand  we  would 
have  been  ready  to  follow  her  to  the  ends  of  the  earth." 
Mother  Barat  encouraged  this  vocation,  but  at  the  same 
time  restrained  the  zeal  of  her  spiritual  daughter.  She  felt 

2  17 


MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

that  the  accomplishment  of  this  purpose  was  reserved  for  a 
future  day  and,  in  the  interval,  sought  to  prepare  that  apos- 
tolic soul  for  the  mission  of  suffering  and  love.  She  was 
a  valiant  guide  to  a  valiant  soul,  says  the  historian  of  Mother 
Barat,  and  wrote  singularly  prophetic  lines  to  her:  "Life 
must  not  be  for  you  a  time  of  enjoyment.  Our  Lord  in- 
tends you  to  be  a  spouse  of  blood !  "  Under  this  strong  but 
loving  guidance  the  apostle  was  prepared  for  a  career  of 
heroism.  It  was  only  after  fourteen  years  of  waiting  that 
Madame  Duchesne's  earnest  desires  were  realized. 

Madame  Octavie  Berthold,  who  accompanied  her  to 
America,  was  born  a  Calvinist,  and,  worse  still,  her  father 
had  been  Voltaire's  private  secretary.  She  became  a  Catho- 
lic in  her  twentieth  year,  and  shortly  after  entered  the  new 
Society.  Her  cultivated  mind  and  thorough  knowledge  of 
foreign  languages  made  her  very  useful  in  the  Paris  school, 
where  her  talents  and  virtue  won  for  her  the  highest  respect 
of  the  pupils.  But  her  work  lay  beyond  the  Atlantic,  where 
she  was  to  sow  in  tears  and  suffering  the  seed  destined  to 
produce  a  hundredfold  for  the  greater  glory  of  God. 

Madame  Eugenie  Aude,  who  was  chosen  by  Providence 
to  take  a  very  active  part  in  establishing  the  Society  of  the 
Sacred  Heart  in  Louisiana,  had  been  brought  up  amid  the 
pleasures  of  the  world  in  Italy  and  France,  and  to  detach  her 
heart  from  the  attractions  around  her  called  for  a  miracle 
of  grace  and  love.  One  night,  after  returning  from  a  ball, 
she  stood  admiring  herself  in  a  mirror,  when  suddenly  she 
saw  reflected  not  her  image,  but  the  bruised  and  bleeding 
face  of  the  "  Ecce  Homo."  This  vision  of  Christ  suffering 
touched  her  inmost  soul,  and  from  that  moment  she  deter- 
mined to  give  up  the  world  and  consecrate  herself  entirely 
to  the  service  of  God.  She  never  wavered  in  her  resolution 
and  shortly  after  she  stood  at  the  door  of  Sainte  Marie,  ask- 
ing to  be  received  into  the  Society  of  the  Sacred  Heart.  She 
entered  the  Paris  Novitiate  and  advanced  rapidly  in  those 
virtues  which  so  admirably  distinguished  her  after  life. 

18 


FOUNDATION  IN  AMERICA 

While  in  the  Novitiate  she  learned  to  know  Mother 
Barat  intimately,  and  to  love  her  with  an  affection  that 
lasted  until  the  end  of  her  life.  It  was  the  remembrance  of 
the  "  Ecce  Homo  "  that  made  her  joyfully  offer  herself  for 
the  mission  of  the  Sacred  Heart  in  America. 

Two  lay  Sisters,  Catharine  Lamarre  and  Margaret  Man- 
teau,  were  chosen  to  join  the  little  band  of  missionaries. 
They  were  both  of  mature  age  and  tried  virtue,  and  their 
devoted  help  was  invaluable  during  the  years  of  hardship 
which  attended  the  beginning  of  the  American  mission. 

The  great  distance,  the  perils  of  the  voyage  and  the 
many  privations  which  they  knew  to  be  awaiting  them  only 
increased  the  ardor  of  these  apostolic  souls,  whose  one  aim 
was  to  exalt  the  Kingdom  of  Christ  wherever  obedience 
called  them. 

Bishop  Dubourg,  who  had  preceded  them  to  America, 
wrote  from  Baltimore  to  Madame  Duchesne :  "  The  voyage 
is  doubtless  a  trying  one,  but  women  and  children  make  it 
constantly  in  the  hope  of  bettering  their  condition  in  life. 
Shall  not  we,  with  greater  zeal,  do  as  much  for  the  glory  of 
God  and  the  salvation  of  souls?"  The  question  found  a 
generous  response  in  the  hearts  of  Mother  Duchesne  and 
her  companions.  As  the  time  of  departure  drew  near, 
Mother  Duchesne  wrote  touching  farewells  to  her  family 
and  friends,  and  in  one  of  these  letters,  quoting  the  words 
of  a  holy  servant  of  God,  she  wrote :  "  Since  the  days  of 
Abraham  to  those  of  Jesus  Christ,  and  from  the  days  of 
Jesus  Christ  to  the  present  time,  when  God  has  willed  to 
call  a  soul  to  a  higher  degree  of  perfection,  He  has  with- 
drawn it  from  its  country,  He  has  detached  it  from  every- 
thing, even  from  the  holy  sweetness  of  spiritual  friendship." 
And  in  another  letter  she  says :  "  Think  of  my  happiness 
every  day ;  envy  if  you  like,  but  do  not  wish  to  take  it  away 
from  me." 

The  long  desired  day  of  the  sacrifice  came  at  last.  On 
the  eve  of  the  departure  the  whole  community  assembled  to 

19 


MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

bid  the  missionaries  "  God  speed  "  on  their  perilous  journey. 

"  Mother  Barat  gathered  us  around  her,"  wrote  Madame 
Aude,  "  and  spoke  to  us  in  that  earnest  and  touching  manner 
of  the  greatness  of  our  vocation  and  how  enviable  it  was  in 
the  light  of  faith.  She  exhorted  us  to  unswerving  fidelity 
in  the  observance  of  our  Holy  Rule,  and  then  gave  to 
each  one  her  obedience,  naming  Mother  Duchesne  Superior, 
with  extraordinary  powers  for  the  government  of  the  mis- 
sion. Finally,  with  deep  emotion,  she  exclaimed,  '  Come,  let 
us  give  one  another  a  parting  embrace,  for  you  will  ever  be 
my  dearest  daughters  in  the  Sacred  Heart.'  We  knelt  at 
her  feet,  which  Mother  Duchesne  kissed,  and  while  we  all 
remained  silent  I  saw  that  our  Mother  was  shedding  tears. 
They  seemed  to  fall  upon  my  heart." 

The  day  of  departure  was  a  day  of  sacrifice  and  sublime 
holocaust,  as  also  the  marriage  feast  for  one  of  those  gener- 
ous spouses  of  Christ,  Madame  Aude,  who  made  her  final 
profession. 

Writing  of  her  happiness  to  her  Sisters  of  Quimper,  she 
said:  "What  shall  I  say  of  the  grace  I  have  received?  I 
now  feel  it  my  duty  to  set  no  bounds  to  my  sacrifice.  Jesus, 
in  giving  me  the  Cross,  has  not  bestowed  it  as  a  mere  out- 
ward token.  His  strong  and  gentle  hand  has  thrust  it  into 
my  heart.  He  makes  me  feel  it  by  the  pain  I  experience  in 
leaving  you,  my  beloved  Mothers  and  Sisters,  but  He  makes 
me  love  it,  because  I  know  that  at  the  foot  of  the  Cross  I 
shall  obtain  for  the  dear  family  that  adopted  me  all  the  gifts 
of  His  love." 

Mother  Duchesne  and  her  companions  were  detained 
some  weeks  in  Bordeaux,  while  waiting  to  embark  for 
America,  and  during  this  trying  interval  she  was  encouraged 
by  letters  from  Mother  Barat,  Father  Varin  and  other 
friends.  The  Abbe  Perreau  wrote :  "  You  may  reckon  on 
a  special  Divine  Protection,  for  you  can  say  with  the 
Apostle.  '  Lord,  we  have  left  all  things  to  follow  Thee, 
what,  therefore,  shall  we  have? '  Listen  to  His  answer.  In 

20 


FOUNDATION  IN  AMERICA 

return  for  this  great  reliance  upon  Him,  He  will  give  you 
His  Divine  Heart  as  a  refuge,  His  Spirit  to  guide  you  and 
a  few  drops  from  His  chalice  of  suffering  to  purify  you,  to 
detach  you  from  yourself,  to  teach  you  to  lean  on  Him 
alone.  Oh  !  how  strong  and  how  sweet  is  His  support !  Go 
then  courageously  where  He  calls  you.  You  will  find  Him 
everywhere." 

On  Holy  Thursday,  which  fell  that  year  on  the  iQth  day 
of  March,  the  little  colony  embarked  on  the  sailing  ship 
Rebecca,  and  on  Holy  Saturday  a  favorable  breeze  car- 
ried them  out  of  port,  and  before  the  glad  bells  rang  out 
their  Easter  peals  the  religious  lost  sight  of  the  beautiful 
land  they  never  expected  to  see  again. 

On  the  29th  of  May,  which  by  a  striking  coincidence 
was  the  Feast  of  the  Sacred  Heart,  the  Rebecca  touched  the 
shores  of  America,  about  sixty  miles  below  New  Orleans. 

Madame  Aude's  description  of  their  landing  presents  a 
lively  picture  of  the  holy  joy  which  filled  their  hearts. 

"  When  we  set  foot  on  that  shore,  which  in  the  light  of 
faith  is  a  '  promised  land/  we  were  deeply  moved.  Mother 
Duchesne's  heart  could  not  contain  its  happiness ;  kneeling, 
she  kissed  the  earth,  while  her  eyes  filled  with  blissful  tears. 
'  No  one  sees  us/  she  said ;  '  kiss  it  too.'  You  would  have 
rejoiced  to  see  her  delight.  Her  countenance  expressed  all 
the  feeling  of  a  heart  overflowing  with  gratitude  to  God 
and  consumed  with  a  desire  of  procuring  His  glory." 

Two  priests  were  awaiting  the  nuns,  with  letters  from 
the  Ursulines,  offering  them  hospitality. 

Madame  Aude  gives  the  following  description  of  the 
journey  to  the  convent :  "  We  started  at  nine  o'clock  in  the 
evening,  blessing  the  Heart  of  Jesus  for  our  safe  voyage 
across  the  ocean  and  offering  ourselves  to  Him  anew.  The 
night  was  beautiful,  the  sky  cloudless  and  sparkling  with 
stars,  which  were  reflected  in  the  peaceful  waters  of  the 
Mississippi,  along  whose  banks  we  drove.  Everything 
seemed  to  raise  our  hearts  to  God." 

21 


MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

About  four  in  the  morning  the  party  arrived  at  the  con- 
vent, and  were  received  by  the  Ursulines  with  the  most 
cordial  Christian  charity  and  every  demonstration  of  sis- 
terly joy. 

Full  of  gratitude  for  their  kindness,  Mother  Duchesne 
wrote :  "  This  house  is  like  one  of  our  own  convents,  no- 
where could  we  have  met  with  more  affectionate  hospitality. 
These  good  nuns  provide  us  with  everything.  Mothers 
could  not  do  more  for  their  children." 

As  soon  as  Bishop  Dubourg  heard  of  Mother  Duchesne's 
arrival  he  sent  her  from  St.  Louis  a  letter  full  of  encourage- 
ment and  welcome,  but,  by  some  strange  chance,  six  months 
elapsed  before  the  greeting  was  received,  and  meantime 
Mother  Duchesne  was  anxiously  waiting  and  wondering  at 
the  Bishop's  prolonged  silence.  Finally,  hearing  that  he  was 
expecting  her  in  St.  Louis,  she  determined  to  go  thither. 
"  Four  hundred  leagues,"  she  wrote,  "  seem  very  little  when 
one  has  traveled  thousands,  and  to  ascend  a  quiet  river  is 
only  a  pleasure,  after  encountering  the  ocean  and  its 
storms." 

Having  taken  leave  of  the  devoted  Ursulines,  Mother 
Duchesne  and  her  companions  embarked  on  the  steamer 
Franklin,  which  was  to  convey  them  to  St.  Louis.  In 
those  days,  when  steam  navigation  was  in  its  infancy,  mis- 
haps were  many  and  adventures  often  thrilling,  but  nothing 
could  disturb  the  peaceful  occupations  of  the  nuns.  In  the 
narrow  cabin,  where  seventeen  persons  were  closely 
packed,  they  prayed,  meditated,  studied  English  meantime, 
while  the  steamer  ploughed  its  way  up  the  great  river,  whose 
broad  expanse  of  water,  sparkling  in  the  sunshine  or  sleep- 
ing in  the  moonlight,  overshadowed  on  both  sides  by  the 
foliage  of  a  primeval  forest,  presented  a  scene  both  grand 
and  picturesque. 

On  the  2ist  of  August,  1818,  the  Franklin  reached  St. 
Louis,  after  a  voyage  of  forty-two  days. 

Mother  Duchesne  hastened  to  the  Bishop's  residence  and 

22 


FOUNDATION  IN  AMERICA 

found  him  eagerly  awaiting  her  arrival.  The  aspect  of  the 
dwelling,  a  sort  of  barn,  offered  a  vivid  presage  of  what  the 
religious  might  expect  in  their  new  mission.  One  apart- 
ment served  for  dormitory,  dining  room  and  study  for  him- 
self and  four  or  five  priests.  It  was  the  poverty  of  the  early 
ages  of  the  Church,  but  with  it  was  the  heroism  of  those 
same  times. 

In  writing,  later  on,  of  the  obstacles  to  the  success  of 
their  work,  Mother  Duchesne  says :  "  Shall  I  tell  you  what 
urges  me  on?  It  is  the  example  of  the  saintly  clergy  of  this 
country,  men  like  Monseigneur  Flaget,  Bishop  of  Bards- 
town,  or  Mgr.  Cheverus,  Bishop  of  Boston,  and,  above  all, 
our  own  devoted  prelate,  who  makes  himself  all  to  all,  work- 
ing incessantly  for  the  good  of  his  people.  He  has  many 
trials,  but  how  great  he  is  in  the  midst  of  them." 

The  location  selected  by  Bishop  Dubourg  for  the  new 
foundation  was  at  St.  Charles,  on  the  Missouri  River.  The 
town  was  small,  and  the  house  provided  for  the  nuns  was 
poorly  adapted  for  school  purposes. 

The  Bishop  intimated  that  their  residence  was  only  tem- 
porary. "  You  can  stay  there  for  the  present,"  he  said  to 
Mother  Duchesne,  "  until  we  decide  upon  your  future  des- 
tination. We  must  till  the  soil  before  we  begin  to  plant. 
You  and  I  will  have  to  spend  our  lives  in  this  ungrateful 
labor ;  our  successors  will  reap  where  we  have  sown,  but  we 
must  be  satisfied  to  look  to  heaven  for  our  reward." 

The  religious  soon  discovered  that  a  mistake  had  been 
made  in  the  place  selected  for  them.  After  a  year's  resi- 
dence in  St.  Charles  they  removed  to  Florissant,  fifteen 
miles  from  St.  Louis. 

Here  the  school  became  more  prosperous.  The  follow- 
ing year  a  Novitiate  was  established,  and  Mother  Duchesne 
wrote  that  five  of  their  most  promising  pupils  were  among 
the  first  novices  received. 


CHAPTER  IV. 

FOUNDATION    OF    GRAND    COTEAU,    LA. — SCHOOL    LIFE    OF 
MARY  HARDEY — 1821-1825. 

During  one  of  his  pastoral  visits  to  lower  Louisiana, 
Bishop  Dubourg  met  a  wealthy  Catholic  lady,  who  made 
known  to  him  her  desire  of  establishing  a  convent  for  the 
education  of  young  girls.  Her  husband,  Mr.  Charles  Smith, 
a  relative  of  the  Hardey  family,  had  left  Maryland  in  1803, 
to  make  his  home  in  Louisiana. 

Having  settled  in  Opelousas,  he  and  his  wife  devoted 
themselves  to  the  welfare  of  Catholicity  in  that  section  of 
the  country. 

After  building  a  church,  their  piety  fostered  another  gen- 
erous aspiration,  that  of  founding  houses  of  education  for 
both  boys  and  girls. 

Mr.  Smith  died  before  his  plans  could  be  carried  into 
effect,  but  his  widow  gave  her  time  and  her  fortune  to  their 
accomplishment.  One  of  her  plans  was  the  establishment 
of  a  school  at  Grand  Coteau,  which  was  the  home  of  Mary 
Hardey. 

The  Bishop  entered  heartily  into  the  views  of  this  esti- 
mable lady,  and  suggested  the  Religious  of  the  Sacred  Heart 
as  well  fitted  to  respond  to  her  designs. 

The  proposal  for  this  foundation  was  in  due  time  ac- 
cepted by  Mother  Barat,  and  the  charge  of  organizing  it  was 
entrusted  to  Madame  Aude.  Sister  Layton,  the  first  lay- 
sister  postulant  received  in  America,  was  to  be  her  only 
companion  until  the  arrival  of  the  nuns  whom  Mother  Barat 
had  promised  to  send  from  France. 

Despite  the  poverty  of  her  house  at  Florissant,  Mother 
Duchesne  insisted  upon  giving  the  sum  of  one  hundred 
dollars  for  their  immediate  needs,  especially  for  the  furnish- 

24 


FOUNDATION  IN  LOUISIANA 

ing  of  the  chapel.  The  Bishop  also  bestowed  upon  them 
whatever  he  could  spare  from  his  own  scanty  resources. 

On  the  5th  of  August,  1821,  Madame  Aude  and  her  com- 
panion embarked  on  the  steamer  Rapid,  but  twenty 
days  elapsed  before  they  reached  Grand  Coteau,  where  they 
were  cordially  welcomed  by  Mrs.  Smith,  who  gave  them  the 
hospitality  of  her  own  home  until  their  house  was  com- 
pleted. It  was  a  frame  building,  fifty-five  feet  square,  with 
a  veranda  covered  with  luxuriant  vines.  There  was  an  en- 
trance court,  shaded  by  beautiful  trees,  and  a  large  orchard 
which  was  to  serve  as  a  playground  for  the  children.  The 
kitchen,  dining  room  and  infirmaries  were  small  buildings 
of  one  story  each. 

Madame  Aude  took  possession  of  the  house  before  it  was 
finished,  and  began  at  once  the  preparations  for  the  opening 
of  the  school. 

In  the  beginning  of  October  five  pupils  were  received, 
one  of  whom  was  Mary  Hardey.  There  had  been  question 
of  sending  her  to  Emmitsburg,  with  her  elder  sister,  Ann, 
and  her  three  cousins,  the  daughters  of  Mr.  Raphael  Smith, 
but  her  delicate  health  furnished  a  strong  plea  for  keeping 
her  nearer  home,  and  it  was  decided  to  place  her  under 
Mother  Aude's  care. 

Mr.  Hardey  became  a  true  friend  and  benefactor  to  the 
convent. 

We  gather  from  the  correspondence  of  those  days,  that 
he  frequently  sent  provisions  and  gave  them  also  the  serv- 
ices of  his  slaves  when  needed.  But  his  greatest  gift  to  the 
Society  of  the  Sacred  Heart  was  undoubtedly  that  of  his 
beloved  daughter,  who  became  one  of  its  brightest  orna- 
ments and  strongest  supports  in  America. 

The  work  which  fell  to  the  willing  hands  of  Mother  Aude 
and  Sister  Layton  may  be  easier  imagined  than  described. 
But  never  was  burden  more  cheerfully  borne  or  tasks  more 
joyfully  accomplished. 

Bishop  Dubourg  took  great  interest  in  all  their  concerns. 

25 


MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

In  one  of  his  visits  he  playfully  asked  Mother  Aude  if  it 
was  at  the  Court  of  Napoleon  she  had  learned  to  milk  the 
cows. 

But  domestic  labors  were  not  the  only  trials  which 
Mother  Aude  had  to  bear.  Privations,  deeply  felt  because 
she  could  not  always  prevent  the  pupils  from  sharing  them, 
formed  a  large  part  of  her  solicitude.  In  one  of  her  letters 
to  Mother  Barat  she  writes :  "  Flour  is  so  scarce  that  I  was 
on  the  point  of  giving  the  children  potatoes  in  place  of 
bread,  when  Mrs.  Smith  sent  us  several  loaves  which  I 
received  as  a  great  treasure,  and  the  Heart  of  Jesus,  know- 
ing our  needs,  inspired  Mr.  Hardey  to  send  us  a  barrel  of 
flour. 

"  We  have  only  six  chairs,  which  we  are  obliged  to  carry 
from  one  place  to  another,  but  we  have  a  supply  of  kitchen 
and  table  utensils,  benches  and  desks." 

Mother  Barat  was  keenly  alive  to  the  wants  of  the  foun- 
dation. In  a  letter  dated  November  23d  she  wrote :  "  Many  of 
our  Sisters  long  to  go  to  you,  but  before  we  can  spare  them 
others  must  be  trained  to  fill  their  places.  Two  only  will 
leave  us  to  join  you."  These  two  missionaries  were  Madame 
Lucile  Mathevon  and  Madame  Xavier  Murphy,  an  Irish 
lady,  who  was  then  in  the  Paris  Novitiate. 

Of  the  latter,  Mother  Barat  wrote  to  Mother  Duchesne : 
''  Madame  Murphy  is  about  thirty  years  of  age,  and  she  will 
be  very  useful  to  Mother  Eugenie  for  her  school.  The  char- 
acter of  the  Irish  is  very  like  our  own.  This  dear  Sister  is 
pleasing  and  amiable  in  manner,  and  nothing  is  an  effort  in 
the  fulfillment  of  her  vocation." 

At  the  time  of  her  departure  for  Louisiana  Madame  Mur- 
phy took  the  name  of  Xavier,  in  honor  of  the  great  saint, 
whose  apostolic  example  she  longed  to  imitate.  Full  of  joy- 
ous enthusiasm,  she  left  France  on  the  7th  of  December,  the 
first  Friday  of  the  month,  a  circumstance  which  she  did  not 
fail  to  note,  as  a  proof  the  voyage  would  be  under  the  special 
protection  of  the  Sacred  Heart.  "  Every  one  on  board  the 

26 


FOUNDATION  IN  LOUISIANA 

vessel  was  seasick,  myself  included,"  she  wrote  to  Mother 
Barat,  "  but  not  for  one  moment  was  I  afraid.  Madame 
Mathevon  seemed  to  be  in  constant  dread  of  death,  and  at 
times  I  found  it  hard  to  keep  from  laughing  at  her  exclama- 
tions. During  a  rather  severe  storm,  thinking  herself  on 
the  point  of  being  lost,  she  jumped  from  her  berth  and, 
stretching  out  her  arms  like  Moses,  cried  aloud  for  mercy. 
Alas !  I  was  too  much  overcome  by  sleep  to  take  the  place 
of  Aaron.  You  should  have  seen  the  terror  of  the  passengers 
on  hearing  of  the  approach  of  pirates.  All  hastened  to  hide 
their  money  and  valuables.  I  smiled  at  their  fright.  Do 
you  know,  dear  Mother,  why  I  was  so  tranquil?  It  was 
because  I  felt  sure  of  the  protection  of  our  Good  Master. 
Why  should  a  daughter  of  the  Sacred  Heart  be  afraid? 
They  said  I  was  a  fine  sailor,  but  they  little  knew  what  sus- 
tained me  during  the  voyage." 

The  vessel  arrived  at  New  Orleans  on  the  Feast  of  the 
Purification,  and  Madame  Xavier  looked  for  the  first  time 
upon  the  land  of  her  adoption.  She  had  expected  this  sight 
to  bring  her  an  intense  joy,  and  that  she  could  exclaim  with 
holy  Simeon,  "  Now,  O  Lord,  Thou  dost  dismiss  Thy  serv- 
ant in  peace  for  my  heart's  desire  is  fulfilled,"  but  just  the 
contrary  happened.  "  All  at  once,"  she  wrote  to  Mother 
Barat,  "  the  friends  that  I  had  left  in  Europe  loomed  up  be- 
fore me,  and  my  heart  fell,  like  the  weights  of  a  clock.  How- 
ever, I  asked  Our  Lord  to  strengthen  me,  and  I  begged  the 
Blessed  Virgin  to  offer  me,  even  as  she  had  offered  her 
Divine  Son  to  the  Eternal  Father  on  that  day.  Occupied 
with  these  thoughts  I  arrived  at  the  Ursuline  Convent.  As 
the  Bishop  was  in  the  house  we  were  at  once  presented  to 
him.  I  never  met  any  one  with  whom  I  felt  so  readily  at 
my  ease.  '  My  Lord/  I  said,  '  I  am  come  from  France,  but 
first  of  all  from  Ireland,  to  be  your  obedient  daughter.  Do 
with  me  as  you  wish,  I  do  not  care  where  I  go,  provided  I 
am  in  America.' " 

Early  in  April  Madame  Murphy  reached  Grand  Coteau. 


MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

In  May  she  had  the  happiness  of  pronouncing  her  first 
vows,  and,  filled  with  the  joy  of  this  first  consecration  to 
God,  she  entered  upon  the  duties  of  her  new  mission  with  all 
the  ardor  of  her  generous  nature. 

After  some  months  of  excessive  labor  she  was  stricken 
with  a  severe  illness.  Mother  Aude  nursed  her  with  mater- 
nal tenderness  which  deeply  touched  the  heart  of  her 
spiritual  daughter,  and  won  her  confidence  and  lasting 
gratitude. 

While  yet  a  novice  in  Paris,  this  fervent  religious  had 
written  of  herself  to  her  former  teachers,  the  Ursulines  of 
Blackrock :  "  I  am  the  last  and  least  in  this  house.  I  am  of 
use  only  to  Almighty  God,  who  is  pleased  to  show  forth 
His  power  in  His  weakest  creatures."  The  same  spirit  of 
humility  and  childlike  simplicity  gave  a  marked  character 
to  her  whole  religious  life.  In  writing  of  her  to  Mother 
Barat,  Mother  Aude  says:  "Sister  Xavier  appears  to  be  a 
strong  soul,  full  of  faith,  and  it  is  souls  of  this  stamp  that 
are  needed  here." 

Such  was  the  religious  who  assisted  Mother  Aude  in  the 
school  at  Grand  Coteau,  and  shared  with  her  the  honor  of 
training  the  mind  and  heart  of  Mary  Hardey. 

We  have  few  details  of  Mary's  schooldays,  but  a  diary 
kept  by  Madame  Xavier  gives  us  a  record  of  current  events, 
and  consequently  of  the  influences  that  surrounded  her  con- 
vent life.  After  informing  Mother  Barat  that  she  had 
already  sent  her  the  journal  of  the  month  of  April,  Madame 
Xavier  goes  on  to  say :  "  On  the  feast  of  Corpus  Christi  we 
had  a  procession  at  which  several  seculars  assisted.  It  was 
the  first  of  the  kind  ever  witnessed  here.  A  repository  was 
prettily  arranged  in  the  barn,  and  the  Blessed  Sacrament 
was  exposed  all  day  in  our  little  chapel.  But  our  joy  was 
yet  greater  on  the  Feast  of  the  Sacred  Heart,  for  on  that 
day  Madame  Gerard  received  the  religious  habit  and  Sister 
Layton  took  her  first  vows.  The  chaplain  said  a  few 
words  appropriate  to  the  occasion ;  Mother  Aude  and  I  re- 

28 


FOUNDATION  IN  LOUISIANA 

nevved  our  vows  in  union  with  all  our  dear  Society.  The 
Blessed  Sacrament  was  exposed  all  day,  and  after  benedic- 
tion in  the  evening  our  pupils  sang  a  canticle  to  the  Sacred 
Heart,  so  soul  inspiring  that  priest  and  nuns  joined  in  the 
singing." 

A  spiritual  fast  followed  the  delights  of  that  day.  The 
chaplain  went  away,  leaving  them,  as  Madame  Xavier  ex- 
pressed it,  "  like  the  daughters  of  Jerusalem  without  priest 
or  sacrifice." 

This  privation  continued  until  the  Feast  of  Saint 
Ignatius.  It  was  especially  felt  upon  Saint  Mary  Magda- 
len's day,  which  was  kept  as  the  feast  of  the  Mother  General. 
"  We  felt  it  keenly,"  writes  Madame  Xavier,  "  but  we  laid 
our  sacrifice  before  the  altar,  and  united  in  spirit  with  our 
Paris  sisters  in  offering  the  best  wishes  of  our  hearts  to  the 
Mother  who  is  the  joy  and  glory  of  our  dear  Society." 

On  August  /th,  1822,  about  a  year  after  the  foundation 
of  Grand  Coteau,  the  religious  had  the  delightful  surprise 
of  a  visit  from  Mother  Duchesne. 

The  following  day  the  pupils  left  for  their  summer  vaca- 
tion, and  the  community  were  at  liberty  to  enjoy  in  full 
measure  the  presence  of  their  revered  Mother. 

However,  occasional  sacrifices  were  not  wanting,  even 
during  those  happy  days.  Madame  Aude  notes  in  her  jour- 
nal that  the  first  Sunday  after  Mother  Duchesne's  arrival 
they  were  deprived  of  Holy  Mass,  and  then  adds,  in  her  own 
mirthful  strain,  "  The  just  man  lives  by  faith,  and,  at  times, 
it  is  the  only  food  to  be  found  in  these  parts." 

The  23d  of  the  month  brought  the  holidays  to  a  close, 
and  the  pupils  returned  with  joy  to  the  convent  which  they 
had  learned  to  love. 

The  scholastic  year  was  opened,  according  to  custom,  by 
the  distribution  of  the  honorary  distinctions  awarded  dur- 
ing the  preceding  term.  Mother  Duchesne  presided  at  the 
reunion. 

As  a  testimony  of  respect  to  their  venerated  guest,  a 

29 


MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

complimentary  address  was  read  by  Mary  Hardey,  in  the 
name  of  her  companions. 

Before  leaving  Grand  Coteau,  Mother  Duchesne  wrote  to 
Mother  Barat  in  enthusiastic  terms  of  the  good  effected  by 
Mother  Aude  in  her  school.  She  describes  her  as  "  one  of 
those  souls  that  draw  down  graces  on  all  who  come  near 
them.  Her  pleasing  manners,  rare  talents  and  capacity  for 
government  lift  her  far  above  others  of  her  sex." 

After  a  visit  of  three  weeks,  Mother  Duchesne  returned 
to  Saint  Louis.  Her  noble  character  and  saintly  appearance 
had  made  a  strong  impression  upon  the  pupils,  especially 
Mary  Hardey,  who  began  to  reflect  seriously  upon  vocation 
for  the  religious  life.  Hitherto  she  had  deemed  herself  un- 
worthy of  so  high  a  calling,  though  she  felt  strongly  at- 
tracted to  the  cloister,  but  light  came  to  her  at  a  moment 
when  she  least  expected  it.  One  day,  while  standing  in  the 
ranks  waiting  for  the  signal  to  go  to  class,  Madame  Xavier's 
gentle  demeanor  in  the  midst  of  her  pupils  forcibly  im- 
pressed her,  and  she  seemed  to  hear  an  interior  voice  utter- 
ing these  words,  "  What  others  have  done  you  can  do." 
She  resolved  at  once  to  accomplish  her  duties  with  greater 
fidelity,  and  to  enter  with  ardor  on  the  rugged  path  of  self- 
denial,  in  order  to  prepare  her  soul  for  the  more  perfect  ful- 
fillment of  the  Divine  Will. 

Mary's  school  days  ended  in  the  summer  of  1824,  in  a 
manner  most  satisfactory  to  her  teachers  and  highly  gratify- 
ing to  her  parents.  During  the  course  of  the  year  she  had 
worn  the  "  First  IVIedallion,"  the  highest  honor  of  the  school, 
and  had  been  received  into  the  Congregation  of  the  Chil- 
dren of  Mary. 

In  her  home  she  was  distinguished  by  a  tender  love  and 
constant  thoughtfulness  for  all  around  her.  Mrs.  Hardey 
found  in  her  a  congenial  companion,  as  well  as  a  dutiful 
daughter,  ever  ready  to  assist  at  the  burdensome  cares  of 
the  household. 

With  her  younger  brothers  and  sisters  she  was  like  a 

30 


FOUNDATION  IN  LOUISIANA 

child,  ever  disposed  to  enter  into  all  their  passing  pleasures, 
and  nearly  sixty  years  later  her  brother,  Dr.  Charles  Hardey, 
rendered  the  following  tribute  to  his  sister's  amiable  disposi- 
tion :  "  As  a  devoted  daughter  and  affectionate  sister,  she 
was  a  model  for  imitation,  always  sweet,  kind,  obedient,  lov- 
ing. She  was  almost  adored  by  the  negro  servants.  As  for 
me,  she  was  my  confidant  and  playmate ;  the  love  between 
us  grew  as  I  advanced  in  years,  and  continued  true  and 
tender  to  the  time  of  her  death.  Her  memory  is  as  dear  to 
my  heart  now  as  it  was  sixty  years  ago." 

Among  her  relatives  and  friends  Mary  was  no  less  a 
favorite  than  in  the  bosom  of  her  family.  She  is  represented 
by  those  who  knew  her  then  as  a  tall,  beautiful  girl,  with  a 
commanding  figure  and  a  dignity  of  bearing  altogether  in 
advance  of  her  years. 

Although  surrounded  by  all  the  joys  that  make  home-life 
delightful,  her  vocation  for  the  religious  state  became  daily 
more  rooted.  She  realized  fully  the  sacrifices  it  would  de- 
mand from  herself  and  those  she  loved,  but  there  was  no 
hesitation  in  her  strong  resolve  to  leave  all  at  the  Master's 
call. 

Mrs.  Hardey's  watchful  eye  soon  discovered  her  daugh- 
ter's attraction,  and  in  the  strong  simplicity  of  her  faith  she 
blessed  God  that  He  had  honored  her  in  choosing  for  His 
special  service  one  of  her  children,  and  that  one  the  most 
gifted  and  the  most  tenderly  loved.  It  was  different  with 
her  father.  He  treated  the  matter  very  lightly,  having  no 
faith  in  his  daughter's  vocation.  Hence,  he  readily  entered 
into  the  plans  of  certain  relatives  of  the  family  to  divert 
Mary's  aspirations  into  another  channel.  A  pleasure  party 
was  organized  for  the  purpose  of  introducing  to  her  a  gen- 
tleman who  was  considered  worthy  of  her  heart  and  hand. 

Mary  was  on  the  point  of  accepting  the  invitation  when 
she  recognized  the  snare  laid  for  her  vocation  and  realized 
that  the  hour  had  come  for  her  to  follow  the  call  of  God. 
Not  daring  to  trust  herself  to  speak  to  her  father,  she  wrote 

31 


MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

him  a  note,  asking  permission  to  enter  the  convent  the  fol- 
lowing day.  As  his  room  was  directly  over  hers,  she  heard 
him  pacing  the  floor  until  a  late  hour  that  night.  She  knew 
well  the  struggle  he  was  going  through  and,  dreading  an 
unfavorable  decision,  she  delayed  entering  the  dining  room 
the  next  morning  until  the  family  had  withdrawn ;  but,  to 
her  dismay,  she  found  her  father  awaiting  her.  Referring  to 
her  note,  he  spoke  of  her  request  as  a  "  childish  freak,"  add- 
ing, however,  that  he  would  not  oppose  her  but  would  take 
her  himself  to  the  convent.  "  You  will  not  remain,"  he  said, 
"  and  in  a  few  days  we  shall  see  you  home  again."  But  she 
assured  him  that  she  understood  perfectly  the  importance 
of  the  step  she  was  about  to  take,  and  that  with  the  assist- 
ance of  God  she  hoped  to  persevere. 

On  the  Feast  of  St.  Michael,  September  29,  1825,  she 
bade  a  silent  farewell  to  her  mother,  who  fully  realized  that 
her  daughter  would  never  again  cross  the  threshold  of  her 
home,  while  the  younger  members  of  the  family,  all  un- 
conscious of  their  loss,  thought  she  was  only  leaving  for  a 
visit  to  the  convent  and  urged  her  not  to  remain  too  long. 

At  Grand  Coteau  there  was  no  anticipation  of  her  com- 
ing. The  religious  knew  she  intended  to  enter,  but  they  were 
wholly  unprepared  for  her  announcement,  "  This  time  I  have 
come  to  stay."  "  So  you  think,  my  child/'  interrupted  her 
father,  "  but  you  will  soon  tire  of  the  life  and  in  a  week's 
time  you  will  be  home  again  !  Meanwhile,  is  there  anything 
we  can  send  you?  "  "Oh!  yes,  father,"  she  answered,  "  I 
have  forgotten  my  looking-glass  and  comb."  All  present 
were  greatly  amused  at  her  request,  which  confirmed  Mr. 
Hardey  in  his  opinion  of  her  vocation.  If  it  proceeded  from 
vanity,  we  shall  see  later  on  how  she  conquered  this  weak- 
ness of  her  sex. 

A  few  days  after  her  entrance  her  vocation  was  put  to 
a  severe  test.  An  aged  negress,  known  on  the  Hardey  plan- 
tation as  "  Old  Aunt  Sophie,"  came  to  tell  her  that  her 
father  was  dangerously  ill.  "  Do  come  home,  Miss  Mary, 

32 


FOUNDATION  IN  LOUISIANA 

for  he  is  very  sick,  very  sick  indeed,"  adding  tears  and  sobs 
to  her  entreaties.  Mary  felt  strongly  urged  to  hasten  to 
her  father,  but  she  resisted  the  impulse  and  dismissed  Aunt 
Sophie  with  sympathetic  messages  for  the  family.  Her 
grief,  however,  overcame  her,  and  an  hour  later  she  started 
for  home  without  saying  a  word  to  any  one.  She  had  walked 
a  mile  when  suddenly  it  dawned  upon  her  that  she  was  about 
to  give  up  all  that  the  grace  of  God  had  enabled  her  to  ac- 
complish. Again  the  voice  of  conscience  was  promptly 
obeyed,  and  renewing  to  God  the  sacrifice  of  her  home,  now 
doubly  dear  because  of  the  sorrow  that  overshadowed  it, 
she  retraced  her  steps,  and,  with  her  usual  frankness,  ac- 
knowledged to  Mother  Aude  her  struggle  and  her  triumph. 

The  next  day  they  learned  that  Mr.  Hardey  had  not  been 
even  indisposed.  Aunt  Sophie's  love  for  her  young  mistress 
was  unfortunately  greater  than  her  love  for  truth,  so  she 
had  recourse  to  this  expedient  in  the  hope  of  getting  her 
home  again. 

The  strength  of  character  which  Mary  showed  on  this 
occasion  was  evinced  in  matters  of  minor  importance,  a  mat- 
ter of  feminine  vanity.  She  had  taken  complacency  in  her 
beautiful  golden  hair,  and  spent  many  precious  hours  before 
her  mirror,  arranging  it  in  heavy  braids  which  fell  below  her 
waist,  or  in  binding  it  up  with  a  fancy  comb,  according  to 
the  prevailing  fashion.  In  the  first  weeks  of  her  postulantship 
her  conscience  began  to  reproach  her  with  loss  of  time  and 
the  folly  of  such  vanity,  so  one  evening,  while  the  religious 
were  at  supper,  she  hastened  to  the  dormitory  and  cut  off 
her  braids.  The  changed  appearance  of  the  young  postulant 
caused  great  astonishment,  and  Mother  Aude  rebuked  her 
very  severely  for  her  impulsive  act. 

Another  incident  will  show  the  sincerity  of  her  desire  to 
consecrate  herself  unreservedly  to  God.  Once,  while  listen- 
ing to  an  instruction  on  the  obligation  of  the  vow  of  obedi- 
ence, she  was  greatly  disturbed  in  mind.  It  seemed  to  her 
impossible  to  pass  her  whole  life  in  doing  the  will  of  another, 

3  33 


MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

but  she  was  not  long  in  finding  a  solution  to  her  difficulty. 
"  The  surest  way  of  being  able  to  do  my  own  will,"  she  said, 
"  is  always  to  will  that  which  my  superiors  will  for  me." 
The  resolution  was  faithfully  kept  through  life. 

One  day  she  was  asked  if  she  knew  how  to  spin.  "  No," 
she  answered,  "  but  I  can  learn."  And  before  long  she  be- 
came an  adept  in  the  art. 

Wishing  to  test  her  patience,  Mother  Aude  gave  her  at 
one  of  the  recreations  a  tangled  skein  of  silk  to  unravel, 
warning  her  not  to  break  the  thread.  With  characteristic 
determination  the  young  postulant  began  her  task,  and  with 
skillful  management  and  unwearied  perseverance  at  last  suc- 
ceeded in  accomplishing  it. 

Mother  Xavier,  who  had  been  watching  her  dear  Mary 
with  loving  interest,  applauded  her  constancy,  and,  turning 
to  Mother  Aude  exclaimed,  "  Our  dear  little  Sister's  per- 
severance is  certain,  O  Mother,  do  give  her  the  veil." 


34 


CHAPTER  V. 

MARY  HARDEY  RECEIVES  THE  RELIGIOUS  HABIT — FOUNDA- 
TION OF  ST.  MICHAEL'S,  LA. — MADAME  HARDEY 
TAKES   HER   FIRST  Vows — 1824-1827. 

Mary  Hardey  received  the  religious  habit  on  the  22d  of 
October,  1825,  in  the  little  chapel  of  Grand  Coteau. 

A  friend  of  the  family  who  was  present  at  the  ceremony 
gives  the  following  details :  "  It  was  a  day  of  great  joy  for 
Mary,  whose  face  beamed  with  happiness ;  but  for  us  who 
were  losing  her,  it  was  full  of  sadness.  We  could  not  but 
grieve  to  see  one  so  young  and  so  dearly  loved  lay  aside  her 
bridal  robes  and  come  among  us  in  the  sombre  garb  of  a 
novice  of  the  Sacred  Heart.  Our  hearts  were  full  of  sym- 
pathy for  the  courageous  parents,  so  generous  in  their 
sacrifice." 

It  was  customary  in  those  days  for  the  novice  to  assume 
the  name  of  a  saint.  Mary  adopted  that  of  Saint  Aloysius 
and  during  the  earlier  years  of  her  religious  life  she  was 
usually  called  Madame  Aloysia,  and  faithfully  did  she  try 
to  emulate  the  virtues  of  her  beloved  patron. 

Obedience  was  her  guiding  star,  and  when  on  the  day 
after  the  ceremony  of  her  clothing  she  was  called  upon  to 
bid  adieu  to  Grand  Coteau,  her  second  home,  she  obeyed  the 
summons  cheerfully. 

About  sixty  miles  from  New  Orleans,  on  the  left  bank 
of  the  Mississippi,  lie  the  fair  lands  associated  with  the 
pathetic  story  of  the  Arcadian  exiles  and  glorified  by  the 
charm  of  Longfellow's  magical  pen.  Its  bayous  and  wood- 
lands and  flower  enameled  fields  are  embalmed  with  mem- 
ories of  the  gentle  Evangeline.  Not  far  from  these  smiling 
scenes,  in  the  midst  of  a  devout  Catholic  population,  the 
Society  of  the  Sacred  Heart  founded  its  third  convent  in 
America. 

35 


MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

The  Abbe  Delacroix,  formerly  chaplain  at  Florissant, 
but  at  this  time  Cure  of  the  small  town  of  St.  Michael's,  had 
appealed  to  Mother  Duchesne  to  establish  an  academy  in  his 
parish.  His  desire  met  with  innumerable  obstacles,  but  the 
indefatigable  Cure  surmounted  them  all.  To  Mother  Du- 
chesne's  objection  that  financial  resources  were  wanting,  he 
responded  by  raising  a  subscription  of  seven  thousand  dol- 
lars for  the  purchase  of  land  and  the  erection  of  a  house. 

In  corresponding  with  Mother  Barat  on  the  subject, 
Mother  Duchesne  wrote :  "  Mother  Aude  is  the  only  one 
Vvho  could  carry  on  this  work.  It  requires  her  firmness,  tact 
and  prudence  in  so  difficult  a  position.  Madame  Xavier 
Murphy  is  well  fitted  to  replace  her  at  Grand  Coteau." 

Mother  Aude  in  her  letter  to  Mother  Barat  makes  us 
acquainted  with  the  members  of  the  new  foundation. 

"  I  take  with  me  to  Saint  Michael's  Madame  Xavier 
Hamilton,  a  very  competent  mistress  for  the  English  classes, 
who,  if  necessary,  can  assist  in  teaching  French ;  Sister 
Labruyere  and  Sister  Mullanphy,  who  will  be  cook;  Phil- 
ippine and  Sophie,  the  two  novices  who  received  the  veil  on 
the  feast  of  Saint  Magdalen,  and  with  whom  we  are  every 
day  more  pleased.  Then  there  is  a  third  novice,  Mary  Har- 
dey,  whom  we  had  for  two  years  and  a  half  as  a  pupil.  She 
was  always  at  the  head  of  her  class  and  was  '  First 
Medallion  '  in  the  school.  She  would  do  honor  even  to  the 
French  Novitiate.  Pray  that  she  may  persevere.  I  think 
that  she  will  one  day  be  a  great  help  to  us.  She  is  not  yet 
sixteen." 

On  the  23d  of  October,  1825,  the  little  band  bade  a  sad 
but  loving  farewell  to  relatives  and  friends  who  had  assem- 
bled to  wish  them  "  God  speed  "  on  their  journey.  The  part- 
ing was  painful  on  all  sides,  as  we  learn  from  Mother  Aude's 
letters,  for  the  spirit  which  moves  one  to  renounce  every- 
thing for  God  does  not  sever  filial  and  fraternal  bonds  of 
affection.  On  the  contrary,  it  enlarges  the  heart  and 

36 


RECEIVES  THE  RELIGIOUS  HABIT 

strengthens  even  those  natural  ties  that  render  life  sacred 
and  beautiful. 

Mr.  and  Mrs.  Hardey  gave  their  blessing  and  consent  to 
their  daughter's  departure,  and  they  were  much  consoled  to 
see  her  so  generous  in  her  sacrifice. 

Leaving  Grand  Coteau  and  Mother  Xavier  Murphy,  the 
special  friend  and  guide  of  her  school  days,  was  an  addi- 
tional sorrow  to  Mary.  A  warm  sympathy  united  them, 
arising  from  similar  traits  of  strength  and  beauty  of  char- 
acter. Though  their  paths  were  henceforth  separate,  their 
friendship,  founded  in  the  love  of  Jesus,  was  constant  to  the 
end. 

After  various  halts  and  adventures  on  the  journey,  the 
little  colony  reached  St.  Michael's  on  the  eve  of  All  Saints. 

Mother  Aude  thus  describes  their  arrival :  "  Monsieur 
Delacroix  received  us  kindly,  and  as  our  house  is  not  yet 
under  roof  he  gave  up  his  own  to  us  and  sought  lodgings 
elsewhere. 

"  On  the  Feast  of  All  Saints  we  were  obliged  to  go  to  the 
parish  church,  and  the  news  of  our  arrival  having  been 
noised  abroad  the  church  was  full.  Monsieur  Delacroix 
placed  us  in  the  sanctuary,  and  at  his  request  we  sang  the 
Mass  of  Dumont,  a  Tantum  Ergo,  a  hymn  and  the  Laudate. 
The  congregation  joined  in  the  singing  with  great  feeling. 
Many  of  them  were  moved  to  tears. 

"  I  have  already  received  visits  from  the  principal  in- 
habitants, who  have  made  us  kind  offers  of  services,  but  the 
more  we  are  welcomed  the  more  I  wish  to  hide  myself  in 
the  Heart  of  Jesus.  I  have  greater  need  than  ever  of  prayers 
for  this  work,  which  I  undertake  with  certain  misgivings." 

The  religious  left  the  dwelling  of  the  hospitable  Cure 
on  the  2oth  of  November  and  took  possession  of  their  new 
convent,  which  was  situated  in  the  center  of  the  parish, 
very  near  the  church. 

Mother  Aude  gives  the  following  description  of  it  to 
Mother  Barat:  "Our  house  is  one  hundred  feet  in  length, 

37 


MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

built  in  brick,  with  green  shutters,  shingled  roof  and  wood- 
work the  color  of  mahogany.  We  have  no  other  furniture 
than  the  four  walls,  no  stove  nor  fireplace,  but  we  warm 
ourselves  near  the  Crib  of  the  Saviour,  and  from  time  to 
time  in  the  kitchen.  It  is  impossible  to  get  a  workman  to 
make  a  bench ;  all  are  too  busy  trying  to  finish  the  house." 
A  little  later  she  wrote  again,  alluding  to  their  privations: 
"  It  is  really  the  poverty  of  the  Crib ;  nothing  could  be  more 
charming.  Our  little  novices  are  being  strengthened  in 
their  vocation,  and  they  will  soon  be  able  to  assist  us  in  the 
school." 

The  seed  of  an  abundant  harvest  is  ordinarily  sown  in 
the  earth  of  self-abnegation.  Such  was  the  soil  from  which 
Mother  Aude  and  her  little  family  were  to  reap  the  fruit  of 
their  labors. 

For  four  months  they  lived  on  milk  and  rice,  yet  their 
health  was  excellent.  Love  lightened  every  task,  and  priva- 
tions were,  at  times,  even  sources  of  amusement. 

During  the  first  weeks  they  had  to  take  their  meals  in 
rather  primitive  style.  They  had  no  dishes,  but  a  peddler 
called  one  day  and  temptingly  displayed  his  wares,  where- 
upon they  bought  a  dozen  tin  plates,  promising  to  pay  him 
later  as  they  had  no  ready  money.  The  next  morning,  while 
each  one  was  enjoying  the  luxury  of  a  plate  at  breakfast, 
the  creditor  appeared  at  the  door  and  demanded  payment. 
In  vain  was  he  reminded  of  the  terms  of  the  contract.  He 
would  brook  no  delay,  so  before  finishing  their  repast  they 
had  to  wash  the  plates  and  return  them  to  the  inexorable 
owner.  Incidents  such  as  these  brightened  the  days  of  toil 
and  privation  that  preceded  the  opening  of  the  school. 

Mother  Aude  marked  with  joy  the  growing  fervor  of  her 
daughters,  and  wrote  Mother  Barat :  "  Our  little  novices 
are  being  formed  to  the  religious  life;  one  particularly, 
Madame  Aloysia,  is  likely  to  become  a  great  success.  Her 
demeanor,  her  aptitude  for  study,  her  docility,  her  excellent 
judgment  and  attachment  to  the  Society  afford  us  the  great- 

38 


RECEIVES  THE  RELIGIOUS  HABIT 

est  consolation  and  make  us  look  hopefully  to  her  future." 
Towards  the  end  of  March  the  building  was  completed, 

and  Our  Lord  took  up  His  abode  in  the  modest  little  chapel. 
In  a  transport  of  joy,  Mother  Aude  writes  to  Mother 

Barat : 

"  EASTER  SUNDAY,  1826. 

"  MY  VERY  REVEREND  MOTHER  : 

"  I  do  not  believe  there  is  a  happier  person  in  the  whole 
world  than  I  am  to-day.  This  morning  for  the  first  time  we 
had  Mass  in  our  little  chapel.  Our  Lord  is  with  us !  He 
has  said  to  us,  as  to  His  Apostles,  '  Fear  not,  it  is  I ! '  Ah  ! 
Mother,  can  you  understand  how  sweet  is  the  day  that  ends 
our  privation  of  five  long  months?  The  Real  Presence  of 
Jesus  in  the  Eucharist  is  now  so  sensible  to  my  heart  that 
I  could  fly  to  martyrdom  to  prove  my  belief  in  this  great 
truth.  The  entire  world,  with  all  its  riches  and  pleasures, 
could  never  equal  one  moment  of  the  joy  I  felt  when  I  saw 
the  Blessed  Sacrament  placed  in  the  Tabernacle.  We  all 
wept  for  joy  on  leaving  the  chapel.  Even  our  pupils  were 
deeply  moved.  Mother,  O,  Mother!  We  have  Jesus  with 
us!  Nothing  now  troubles  me,  for  He  will  always  be  here. 
With  Him  I  can  do  all,  suffer  all,  hope  for  all.  .  .  . 

"  Our  little  chapel  is  simple  and  pretty,  but  Jesus  is 
there !  I  would  like  to  make  the  whole  world  happy  to-day, 
because  of  the  ravishing  joy  I  find  in  the  presence  of  the 
Good  Master." 

Such  was  the  ardent  soul  that  inspired  Madame  Hardey, 
and  through  her,  successive  generations,  with  a  tender  love 
for  Jesus  in  the  Sacrament  of  the  Altar.  About  the  same 
time  that  the  religious  rejoiced  to  welcome  Jesus  to  their 
new  home,  they  gave  cordial  greeting  to  the  young  souls  to 
whom  they  were  to  make  Him  known  and  loved. 

"  It  would  be  impossible  to  desire  a  better  opening," 
writes  Mother  Aude.  "  The  pupils  are  polite  and  docile,  the 
mistresses  united  and  submissive  to  authority.  Our  little 

39 


MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

novices  surpass  my  expectations,  especially  Madame  Aloy- 
sia.  She  is  like  an  experienced  Mistress  with  the  pupils,  is 
very  energetic  at  study,  and  most  successful  in  teaching  her 
classes.  Her  exterior  bearing  is  amiability  itself;  in  char- 
acter, she  is  frank  and  artless,  her  judgment  is  solid,  and  her 
vocation  genuine.  Indeed,  I  should  have  too  many  conso- 
lations were  it  not  for  the  anxiety  caused  by  so  many  debts. 
However,  God  will  take  care  of  us  in  His  own  way." 

Mother  Barat  wrote  her  congratulations  to  Mother  Aude 
and  the  assurance  of  her  deep  interest  in  the  welfare  of  St. 
Michael's,  and  in  conclusion  she  says:  "Give  my  kindest 
greetings  to  your  dear  family  and  assure  them  all  that  they 
are  dearer  to  me  than  ever,  since  their  separation  from 
Grand  Coteau.  You  are  now  charged  with  the  mission  of 
making  the  Heart  of  Jesus  better  known  and  loved  in  an- 
other part  of  Louisiana.  Why  cannot  I  share  your  labors? 
Ah !  I  know  well ;  it  is  because  I  am  unworthy.  I  can,  at 
least,  envy  your  privilege,  and  beg  Our  Lord  to  shower  bless- 
ings upon  my  Eugenie  and  her  daughters  who  are  so  dear 
to  me." 

A  little  later,  in  reply  to  Mother  Aude's  remark  that  she 
"  longed  to  wear  out  her  life  and  die  for  the  interests  of 
Jesus,"  she  replied :  "  I  implore  you,  my  dear  Eugenie,  take 
care  of  your  health  and  do  not  desire  to  die.  To  live  and 
suffer  for  the  glory  of  Him  you  love,  is  far  more  worthy  of 
your  devoted  heart.  That  other  desire  is  an  imperfect  one 
and  evinces  more  love  for  yourself  than  for  Him.  To  labor 
for  the  salvation  of  souls  is  the  greatest  proof  of  our  love 
for  God.  Besides,  you  have  to  extend  the  interests  of  our 
dear  Society  in  a  new  country.  Farewell !  May  the  Heart 
of  Jesus  make  you  and  all  your  daughters  His  worthy 
spouses  and  enable  you  to  draw  to  Him  a  great  number  of 
souls." 

If  we  have  dwelt  upon  these  letters  of  the  Mother  Gen- 
eral it  is  because  the  spirit  breathing  in  them  emits  sparks 
of  that  apostolic  love  which  quickened  the  same  ardent 

40 


1  Tomb  of  Mother  Duchesne  and  House  Where  She  Lived 

2  St.  Charles',  Missouri.     (Old  House) 

3  St.  Michael's,  Louisiana,  1825   1841 

4  Grand  Coteau,  First  Convent  in  Louisiana 

5  St.  Michael's  as  Planned  by  Mother  Hardey 


RECEIVES  THE  RELIGIOUS  HABIT 

flame  in  the  hearts  of  Mary  Hardey  and  the  other  members 
of  the  little  family  of  St.  Michael's. 

The  prosperity  of  the  new  foundation  soon  realized  the 
most  sanguine  expectations.  Within  a  few  months  several 
postulants  entered  and  forty  pupils  were  received  in  the 
school. 

The  following  lines  are  a  tribute  from  one  of  the  pupils 
of  those  early  days,  who,  amid  the  fast  falling  shadows  of 
old  age,  recalled  Madame  Hardey's  lovely  young  face  and 
the  gentle  influence  she  exercised  around  her:  "I  can  see 
her  yet,  as  she  looked  then,  so  kind  and  unaffected  in  man- 
ner, that  the  youngest  child  in  the  house  could  approach  her 
with  ease,  and  yet,  withal,  so  dignified,  that  the  eldest  re- 
spected and  reverenced  her.  The  rare  qualities  with  which 
nature  endowed  her  formed  a  rich  setting  for  those  super- 
natural gifts  and  graces  which  shone  out  in  her  character 
like  the  brightest  of  gems." 

Towards  the  close  of  the  year  1826,  the  Annals  of  the 
Society  of  the  Sacred  Heart  recorded  one  of  the  most  im- 
portant events  in  its  history,  namely,  the  approbation  of 
the  Society  by  His  Holiness,  Leo  XII. 

"  This  approbation,"  says  Mgr.  Baunard,  the  historian 
of  Mother  Barat,  "  not  only  confers  on  the  Constitutions 
which  obtain  it  a  stronger  authority,  a  higher  sanction  and  a 
more  sacred  character,  but  it  secures  them  against  any  rash 
attempts  to  interfere  with  them. 

"  The  Church  when  it  approves  of  a  Congregation  im- 
parts to  it  a  share  of  its  own  prerogatives,  which  are  to  be  a 
united,  unchangeable,  independent  and  universal  society." 

In  reference  to  this  event,  Mother  Barat  addressed  a  let- 
ter to  the  Superiors  of  the  Congregation.  "  Our  Rules  and 
Constitutions,"  she  wrote,  "  having  borne  the  mark  of  the 
Holy  Spirit,  and  the  exact  observance  of  them  having  al- 
ready conducted  many  of  our  Sisters  to  a  high  perfection 
and  a  holy  death;  they  appeared  to  lack  nothing  that  could 
win  our  veneration,  except  the  sanction  of  the  common 

41 


MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

Father  of  the  Faithful.  Urged  by  our  great  desire  to  be 
more  intimately  united  with  the  Visible  Head  of  the  Church, 
whose  devoted  and  submissive  daughters,  the  Religious  of 
the  Sacred  Heart  will  ever  glory  in  being,  we  conjured  His 
Holiness  to  approve  our  Constitutions.  He  has  deigned  to 
grant  us  this  favor,  after  they  had  been  duly  examined  by  the 
Congregation  of  Regulars  and  a  Commission  of  Cardinals. 
The  result  is  entirely  conformable  to  our  desires,  and  all  our 
rules  have  been  recognized  by  the  Holy  Father  as  being 
wise  and  divinely  inspired. 

"  What  a  proof  of  love  the  Heart  of  Jesus  has  given  the 
Society,  and  with  what  gratitude  our  hearts  should  be  filled ! 
But  the  solid  fruit  which  He  has  the  right  to  expect  from 
us,  in  return  for  so  signal  a  blessing,  is  greater  punctuality 
and  generosity  in  the  observance  of  these  holy  rules.  Let 
each  one  then  make  them  her  study  and  say  to  herself  fre- 
quently, as  an  inducement  to  the  faithful  practice  of  them, 
'  in  obeying  these  rules  I  am  sure  of  obeying  the  Church 
and  of  doing  the  will  of  God.' '! 

Some  American  missionaries  coming  from  Rome  the 
previous  year  had  brought  to  Mother  Duchesne  and  her 
daughters  a  message  from  the  Holy  Father,  urging  them  to 
work  zealously  for  the  increase  of  devotion  to  the  Sacred 
Heart  in  America. 

Mother  Bigeu,  who  had  been  charged  with  carrying  on 
the  negotiations  for  securing  the  papal  sanction,  had  written 
from  Rome  consoling  news  to  Mother  Duchesne.  "  The 
work  in  which  you  are  engaged  has  contributed  greatly  to 
obtain  the  approbation  of  the  Holy  See.  The  Cardinals,  and 
the  Pope  himself,  were  very  much  impressed  to  hear  that 
the  Sacred  Heart  had  inspired  women  with  so  much 
energy." 

The  announcement  of  this  event  gave  rise  to  religious 
celebrations  in  all  the  convents,  in  token  of  deep  happiness 
and  unbounded  gratitude;  but  the  nuns  in  America  seemed 
to  have  a  special  right  to  rejoice  since  their  humble  labors 


RECEIVES  THE  RELIGIOUS  HABIT 

had  helped  to  secure  for  their  loved  Society  the  brief  so 
highly  prized. 

The  struggles  of  the  past  and  the  trials  of  the  present 
were  counted  as  nothing,  now  that  the  Society  had  received 
this  crowning  blessing  from  the  Father  of  Christendom. 

Madame  Aloysia  Hardey  was  one  of  the  first  admitted 
to  take  her  vows  after  the  Society  had  obtained  the  Papal 
sanction. 

According  to  the  Rules  of  the  Society  of  the  Sacred 
Heart,  the  novice  spends  two  years  in  preparing  herself 
for  this  important  event.  During  that  period  she  is  in- 
structed in  the  nature  of  the  obligations  she  is  about  to  as- 
sume, and,  according  to  her  measure  of  grace  and  strength, 
her  superiors  must  give  her  opportunities  of  making  daily 
progress  in  the  practice  of  the  virtues  which  are  the  object 
of  the  vows.  But  her  sweetest  occupation  and  most  sacred 
duty  is  to  contemplate,  study  and  know  intimately  the  in- 
terior dispositions  of  the  Heart  of  Jesus  with  regard  to  pov- 
erty, chastity  and  obedience,  in  order  to  conform  and  unite 
herself  closely  to  them. 

The  Rule  tells  her  "  that  she  must  cherish  poverty  as 
her  mother,  and  rejoice  to  feel  its  effects  sometimes  in  her 
food,  rest,  lodging  and  clothing." 

"  With  regard  to  the  virtue  of  chastity  she  must  strive. 
by  continued  watchfulness  over  her  senses  and  the  purity  of 
her  mind  and  heart,  to  imitate  the  purity  of  Angels,  and 
even  the  purity  of  the  Heart  of  Jesus,  as  far  as  it  is  possible 
for  creatures,  aided  by  Divine  Grace." 

"  The  exercise  of  obedience  will  become  very  sweet  to 
her,  if  she  always  considers,  as  she  should  do,  in  every  su- 
perior, the  person  of  Jesus  Christ  Himself;  she  will  find  no 
difficulty  in  conforming  her  will  to  the  will  of  her  superiors 
in  everything  in  which  there  is  not  evident  sin,  and  by  the 
conformity  of  her  judgment  with  that  of  her  superior,  by 
the  readiness  and  joy  that  will  accompany  her  obedience, 
she  must  endeavor  to  omit  nothing  that  may  belong  to  the 

43 


MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

perfection  of  this  virtue  of  which  Jesus  Christ  is  the  model." 

In  regard  to  the  other  virtues  befitting  the  holiness  of 
her  vocation,  the  novice  is  to  consider  the  Heart  of  Jesus 
as  an  "  open  book  "  in  which  she  can  study  how  He  prac- 
ticed each  virtue  in  particular,  in  order  to  conform  herself 
to  the  interior  dispositions  of  His  Divine  Heart,  when  she 
is  called  upon  to  imitate  His  example. 

Madame  Hardey  had  profited  so  well  by  the  training  she 
had  received  and  had  made  such  progress  in  humility  and 
self-renunciation,  that  her  superiors  abridged  the  period  of 
her  noviceship  and  admitted  her  to  her  first  vows  on  the 
fifteenth  of  March,  1827. 

The  five  years  which  follow  before  the  final  vows,  are 
considered  as  a  continuation  of  the  noviceship,  the  exer- 
cises and  practices  of  which  are  preserved,  as  far  as  they 
can  be  combined  with  application  to  study  or  teaching. 
Hence  the  Rule  reminds  the  young  religious  that  "  they 
must  beware  of  thinking  that  they  have  entered  on  a  course 
of  greater  freedom  in  which  there  will  be  less  restraint  and 
subjection.  On  the  contrary,  they  must  regard  each  step 
in  religious  life  as  a  step  further  towards  that  perfection  at 
which  they  must  aim  until  their  last  breath.  They  have  in 
fact  engaged  themselves  to  this  before  God,  by  making 
their  first  vows,  and  they  must  feel  that  it  would  be  a 
strange  abuse  of  grace,  if,  at  the  end  of  the  five  years,  they 
were  less  advanced  in  interior  life  and  the  virtues  of  their 
state,  than  they  were  on  leaving  the  novitiate." 

During  the  course  of  these  five  years,  local  superiors  are 
required  to  keep  the  Superior  General  exactly  informed  of 
the  progress  in  virtue,  and  success  in  studies  of  the  aspi- 
rants under  their  charge,  in  order  that  she  may  judge  who 
are  to  be  admitted  at  the  end  of  this  time  to  the  final  pro- 
bation. 

We  are  enabled  to  follow  Madame  Hardey's  advance- 
ment during  the  period  of  her  aspirantship  from  the  letters 
of  Mother  Aude  to  Mother  Barat. 

44 


RECEIVES  THE  RELIGIOUS  HABIT 

In  the  fall  of  1827  she  writes :  "  The  novices  are  good. 
Among  the  aspirants,  Madame  Aloysia  distinguishes  her- 
self in  every  respect." 

A  little  later,  when  Mother  Duchesne  was  about  to 
establish  a  convent  in  St.  Louis,  she  expressed  the  desire  to 
have  Madame  Aloysia.  Mother  Aude  wrote  in  reply :  "  If 
you  take  Madame  Aloysia,  dear  Mother,  you  may  as  well 
take  the  whole  house." 

These  words  from  a  superior  like  Mother  Aude  prove 
the  worth  of  the  young  religious ;  but  the  following  lines  to 
Mother  Barat  are  even  more  appreciative,  especially  when 
we  consider  that  Madame  Aloysia  was  not  yet  twenty  years 
of  age. 

"  She  has  an  upright  mind,  excellent  judgment,  great 
prudence,  experience  far  beyond  her  years,  and  without  ex- 
ception she  is  the  most  promising  subject  in  the  Commu- 
nity. She  possesses  likewise  the  most  attractive  exterior 
qualities,  a  lovely  countenance  and  that  modesty  and  dig- 
nity so  becoming  in  a  religious." 


45 


CHAPTER  VI. 

DEATH    OF    MADAME    HAMILTON — COUNCIL    AT    SAINT 
MICHAEL'S — 1827-1833. 

In  the  beginning  of  May,  1827,  Madame  Matilda  Hamil- 
ton, the  Assistant  Superior  and  Mistress  General  of  the 
school  of  Saint  Michael's,  was  called  to  her  eternal  reward. 

Mother  Aude,  under  the  first  impression  of  her  grief, 
wrote  to  Mother  Barat :  "  Our  Angel  of  Peace  is  no  more. 
God  called  her  to  Himself  at  three  o'clock  yesterday  morn- 
ing. After  receiving  the  Last  Sacraments,  she  gave  me  her 
cold  hand,  saying,  '  I  am  dying;  in  a  few  moments  I  shall 
be  with  God.'  She  then  took  her  Crucifix,  pressed  it  to  her 
lips,  looked  at  me  as  if  to  take  a  final  leave,  uttered  the 
name  of  Jesus  and  breathed  her  last  sigh." 

The  great  gifts  with  which  Madame  Hamilton  was  en- 
dowed had  led  her  superiors  to  look  to  her  future  as  one  of 
eminent  usefulness  to  the  Society.  Her  life  was  truly  a 
striking  illustration  of  the  triumph  of  grace  in  a  soul  that 
earnestly  seeks  God. 

Like  Madame  Aloysia  Hardey,  to  whom  she  was  re- 
lated, Madame  Hamilton  sprang  from  one  of  those  English 
Catholic  families  which  sought  liberty  on  the  peaceful 
shores  of  the  Chesapeake. 

Her  father  left  Maryland  early  in  1810,  in  order  to  ad- 
vance the  worldly  prospects  of  his  children  in  the  new 
homes  of  Upper  Louisiana.  His  first  care,  however,  was  to 
give  them  an  education  that  would  be  an  inheritance  for 
time  and  eternity.  His  abode  was  open  at  all  times  to  re- 
ceive the  passing  missionary,  hence,  his  family  lived,  as  it 
were,  in  the  blessed  atmosphere  which  surrounds  the  priest 
of  God. 

In  those  early  days,  many  a  Catholic  home  became  the 
sanctuary  of  the  King  of  Kings.  An  apartment  was  always 
ready  for  the  priest,  and  another  for  the  chapel,  where  less 

46 


DEATH  OF  MADAME  HAMILTON 

fortunate  neighbors  might  assist  at  the  Holy  Mass.  Such 
was  the  home  of  the  Hamiltons.  It  was  not  surprising  then 
that  two  of  the  daughters  were  called  to  the  religious  state. 

Eulalia  and  Matilda  became  pupils  of  the  Sacred  Heart 
at  Florissant  in  1820,  and  the  following  year  the  former  en- 
tered the  noviceship. 

Matilda  had  likewise  heard  the  call  to  a  more  perfect 
life,  but  she  lacked  courage  to  respond.  She  was  on  the 
point  of  sailing  for  Europe  when  she  heard  that  Eulalia  was 
to  be  clothed  in  the  religious  habit,  so  she  delayed  her  de- 
parture until  after  the  ceremony.  She  was  so  impressed  by 
the  scene  and  so  touched  by  Divine  Grace,  that  she  entered 
the  noviceship  at  once,  and,  a  month  later,  received  the 
white  veil  of  the  novice,  assuming  the  name  of  Xavier. 

Mother  Duchesne,  writing  of  her  to  Mother  Barat,  says : 
"  Our  Sister  Matilda  is  very  pleasing  in  looks  and  manner ; 
she  has  a  manly  spirit,  generous  soul  and  capability  for 
great  sacrifices.  God  has  allowed  her  to  go  through  many 
trials,  but  her  courage  and  faith  have  triumphed  over  all." 

After  taking  her  first  vows,  Madame  Hamilton  was 
sent  to  Grand  Coteau,  and  later  she  accompanied  Mother 
Aude  to  St.  Michael's,  where,  under  her  prudent  direction, 
the  school  acquired  a  reputation  which  was  rapidly  ex- 
tending throughout  the  Southern  States.  Already  the 
pupils  numbered  sixty-five.  All  of  them  deeply  regretted 
the  death  of  the  Mother,  whose  sterling  qualities  they  had 
learned  to  appreciate. 

Madame  Hamilton  would  have  been  an  irreparable  loss 
to  Mother  Aude  had  not  the  latter  seen  that  Madame  Aloy- 
sia  could  be  trained  to  replace  her  in  the  important  post  of 
Mistress  General,  the  duties  of  which  office  are  thus  laid 
down  in  the  Rule : 

"  To  labor  constantly  for  the  glory  of  the  Sacred  Heart 
of  Jesus,  to  form  young  souls  to  His  love,  employing  human 
knowledge  only  as  a  useful  instrument  to  direct  them  to 
this  noble  end,  such  are  the  principal  motives  which  the 

47 


MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

Mistress  General  must  have  in  view  and  which  will  draw 
clown  the  blessing  of  God  upon  her  work. 

"  She  shall,  therefore,  fervently  implore  the  Sacred 
Heart  of  Jesus  to  grant  her  the  spirit  of  prayer,  of  fervor 
and  of  zeal.  In  order  to  fulfill  her  duties  profitably  she 
needs  a  sound  and  solid  judgment,  great  vigilance,  true  dis- 
cernment, enlightened  prudence,  delicate  sense  of  what  is 
becoming,  and  finally,  wise  firmness,  tempered  by  kindness, 
gentleness  and  charity. 

"  She  should  look  upon  herself  as  holding  a  mother's 
place  to  all  the  children  confided  to  her.  She  shall,  there- 
fore, have  for  them  all  a  mother's  love  and  try  to  gain  their 
confidence  by  gentleness  and  kindness. 

"  She  shall  watch  with  motherly  tenderness  over  the 
preservation  of  their  health,  and  when  sick  procure  for  them, 
and  even  personally  bestow  on  them  every  care  which  ten- 
der charity  can  suggest. 

"  Her  position,  far  from  rendering  her  independent,  does 
but  draw  closer  the  bonds  which  unite  the  Mistress  Gen- 
eral to  the  Superior  whose  place  she  holds  in  the  office  in- 
trusted to  her." 

In  confiding  to  Madame  Aloysia  a  charge  of  such  re- 
sponsibility, Mother  Aude  continued  to  watch  and  direct 
her  at  every  step,  while  her  docile  daughter  found  light, 
strength  and  efficiency  for  her  important  duties  in  her  en- 
tire submission  to  the  wise  counsels  of  her  beloved  superior. 

Saint  Michael's  did  not  fail  to  realize  the  fair  promise  of 
its  opening  years,  as  we  learn  from  Bishop  Rosati,  the  suc- 
cessor of  Bishop  Dubourg,  who  wrote  to  Mother  Barat  as 
follows:  "  It  is  evident  that  God  has  special  designs  on  this 
country,  since  He  gives  us  not  only  the  advantage  of  a  first 
rate,  and  at  the  same  time  Christian  education,  but  also  the 
inestimable  blessing  of  a  great  many  vocations  to  the  reli- 
gious life,  which  is  something  quite  unheard  of  in  these 
parts.  The  good  which  is  being  done  at  Saint  Michael's  is 
great,  but  we  have  every  reason  to  hope  for  even  greater." 

48 


DEATH  OF  MADAME  HAMILTON 

With  that  untiring  zeal  which  distinguished  her,  Mother 
Barat  sought  to  strengthen  the  American  branch  of  the  So- 
ciety. The  political  horizon  ©f  Europe  was  lowering,  and 
the  evils  of  an  approaching  revolution  again  threatened  to 
compromise  the  liberty  of  the  Church  in  France,  hence, 
Mother  Barat  looked  to  the  New  World  as  the  probable 
stronghold  of  Faith's  grandest  triumphs  in  the  nineteenth 
century.  In  her  letters  to  Mother  Duchesne  she  expresses 
the  hope  that  if  the  menacing  storm  should  break  in  fury 
around  them,  the  Society  might  find  in  America  a  refuge 
where  it  could  still  labor  for  the  glory  of  the  Sacred  Heart. 

In  order  to  maintain  that  unity  of  spirit  and  government 
essential  to  the  well  being  of  the  Society,  she  directed 
Mother  Duchesne  to  convene  the  superiors  for  the  purpose 
of  holding  a  provincial  council. 

In  spite  of  her  reluctance  to  preside  over  this  delibera- 
tive body,  Mother  Duchesne  humbly  bowed  before  the  de- 
cision of  her  superior,  and  asked  only  that  the  meeting 
might  be  held  at  Saint  Michael's,  in  order  to  spare  the 
Southern  Superiors  the  fatigue  of  a  journey  to  Saint  Louis. 

She  left  Saint  Louis  on  the  7th  of  November,  1829,  and 
soon  after  her  arrival  at  Saint  Michael's  she  opened  the 
council  in  accordance  with  the  wishes  of  the  Mother  Gen- 
eral. 

The  Society  had  been  especially  blessed  by  God  since  its 
first  foundation  in  Saint  Charles  eleven  years  before.  There 
were  now  five  academies  with  three  hundred  and  fifty  pupils 
in  attendance,  and  the  number  of  religious  had  reached 
sixty-five. 

Mother  Duchesne  in  forwarding  her  report  to  the 
Mother  General,  writes  in  glowing  terms  of  the  convent  at 
Saint  Michael's.  "  Our  children  are  very  obedient  and  very 
faithful  to  the  practice  of  their  religion.  The  former  pupils 
are  much  attached  to  the  house  and  speak  of  it  with  enthu- 
siastic gratitude. 

"  Many  of  them   come   here   for  confession   and   Holy 

4  49 


MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

Comrnunion.  We  have  our  own  way  with  the  parents  who 
appreciate  our  system  of  education." 

She  also  wrote  in  praise  of  the  Community,  adding: 
"  Every  day  they  make  greater  efforts  to  advance  in  virtue, 
often  seeking,  rather  than  avoiding  humiliations." 

Madame  Aloysia,  as  secretary  of  the  council,  was 
brought  into  frequent  relations  with  Mother  Duchesne,  who 
was  quick  to  discern  in  the  young  religious  rare  intellectual 
gifts,  exceptional  qualities  and  unusual  strength  of  will. 

Having  remarked  her  reserved  and  somewhat  haughty 
bearing,  which  she  termed  her  "  American  pride."  Mother 
Duchesne  lost  no  opportunity  of  testing  her  humility  by 
sharp  and  severe  reprimands.  She  was  no  doubt  well  satis- 
fied with  the  evidences  of  humility  which  she  discovered, 
for,  writing  later  of  her,  she  adds  these  significant  words: 
"  Madame  Aloysia  is  too  perfect ;  I  fear  she  will  not  live 
long." 

If  Mother  Duchesne  was  consoled  by  the  religious  spirit 
which  reigned  at  Saint  Michael's,  her  own  example  of  self- 
abnegation  and  humble  dependence  was  a  source  of  edifica- 
tion to  every  one.  She  had  said  of  herself  in  a  letter  to 
Mother  Barat  that  she  was  "  a  worn  out  staff,  only  fit  to  be 
set  aside,"  but,  when  she  bade  adieu  to  the  assembled 
Mothers  and  started  on  her  homeward  journey,  they  felt 
that  she  was  truly  a  column  and  strong  support  to  the  So- 
ciety in  America. 

In  1832,  the  convent  at  Saint  Michael's  counted  two  hun- 
dred inmates.  The  school  continued  to  prosper,  the  ranks 
cf  the  Noviceship  were  constantly  increasing,  and  twelve 
little  orphans  had  been  received  by  Mother  Aude. 

With  this  ever  growing  success,  time  passed  away  in 
that  blissful  monotony  which  offers  little  for  the  historian 
to  relate.  Yet  the  faithful  accomplishment  of  the  duties  of 
every  day  life  was  silently  preparing  Mother  Aude  and  her 
daughters  for  the  terrible  calamity  that  was  to  visit  their 
peaceful  home  and  seal  their  mission  with  the  life-giving 
sign  of  the  Cross.  _n 


CHAPTER  VII. 

CHOLERA  AT  ST.  MICHAEL'S — MADAME  HARDEY'S  PROFESSION 

— MADAME  AUDE'S  DEPARTURE  FOR  FRANCE — MADAME 

HARDEY  APPOINTED  SUPERIOR — 1833-1836. 

In  the  Spring  of  1832,  the  Asiatic  cholera  appeared  for 
the  first  time  in  America,  having  been  carried  to  Quebec  on 
the  tide  of  western  emigration.  Following  the  St.  Law- 
rence River  and  the  Great  Lakes,  the  pestilence  turned 
southward,  advancing  with  the  current  of  the  Mississippi, 
along  whose  borders  it  smote  down  thousands  of  victims. 

During  the  next  Spring  the  contagion  swept  over  Louisi- 
ana, and  the  convent  of  St.  Michael's  was  included  in  its  de- 
structive course. 

On  the  3Oth  of  May,  Madame  Vandamne,  one  of  the  re- 
ligious, felt  the  symptoms  of  the  dread  disease,  and  before 
the  rise  of  the  morrow's  sun  her  spirit  passed  from  its  earth- 
ly exile  to  its  eternal  home.  Two  of  the  orphans  and  five  of 
the  religious  were  already  attacked,  and  two  others  were  at 
the  last  extremity. 

Mother  Aude  took  prompt  and  decisive  measures  to  ar- 
rest the  progress  of  the  disease.  The  pupils  were  sent  to 
their  homes,  and  the  Community  and  orphans  were  re- 
stricted to  a  part  of  the  building,  where  they  were  sheltered 
from  the  contagion. 

The  intrepid  superior  remained  at  the  post  of  danger 
day  and  night,  and  in  answer  to  friends  who  urged  her  to 
remove  with  the  Community  to  a  place  of  safety,  she  reso- 
lutely declared :  "  I  would  rather  be  torn  to  pieces  than  to 
leave  the  bedside  of  my  poor  Sisters.  God  united  us  at  the 
foot  of  the  Altar  and  together  we  must  live  or  die." 

Madame  Aloysia  Hardey  ably  seconded  her  superior  in 
her  attendance  on  the  sick.  An  eye  witness  tells  us  that 

51 


MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

"  she  went  through  the  plague-stricken  house  like  an  Angel 
of  Mercy,  cheering  the  invalids,  consoling  the  dying  and 
preparing  the  dead  for  burial.  Her  delicate  charity,  pres- 
ence of  mind  and  efficiency  in  nursing,  rendered  her  invalu- 
able not  only  to  Mother  Aude  but  to  the  entire  Com- 
munity." 

While  she  was  attending  one  of  the  orphans,  the  doctor 
bade  her  bestow  her  care  upon  those  whose  condition  gave 
greater  hopes  of  recovery.  In  obedience  she  withdrew,  but 
returned  a  little  later  to  find  the  sufferer  still  alive.  For 
twenty-four  hours  she  devoted  herself  to  the  care  of  the 
child,  applying  such  remedies  as  her  judgment  and  experi- 
ence suggested,  and  at  the  doctor's  next  visit  she  had  the 
joy  of  hearing  him  pronounce  her  little  patient  out  of 
danger. 

"  In  those  terrible  days,"  wrote  Mother  Aude,  "  God 
gave  me  the  consolation  of  seeing  the  Sisters  who  were 
taken  from  us  die  like  saints,  and  the  others,  calm,  resigned 
and  even  happy,  expressing  but  one  desire — to  be  true  to 
their  last  breath  to  the  consecration  they  had  made  of  their 
whole  life  to  the  Divine  Heart  of  Jesus." 

The  devoted  superior  at  last  succumbed  to  the  exhaus- 
tion consequent  upon  her  anxiety  and  fatigue.  After  a  brief 
illness  she  rallied,  but  scarcely  was  she  convalescent  when 
one  of  the  Sisters  died  of  apoplexy.  That  death  was  fol- 
lowed by  three  others  in  rapid  succession.  In  her  distress, 
Mother  Aude  wrote  to  the  Mother  General:  "Has  God 
closed  the  last  link  in  this  chain  of  cruel  trials?  He  alone 
knows,  and  I  must  not  seek  to  know.  I  am  heartbroken. 
Pray  for  me,  dearest  Mother,  that  neither  in  my  heart  nor 
on  my  lips  any  word  or  thought  of  complaint  may  ever 
arise." 

The  untiring  devotedness  of  Madame  Hardey  during 
those  memorable  days  was  rewarded  by  that  privilege  so 
ardently  desired  by  every  Religious  of  the  Sacred  Heart, 
admission  to  her  final  vows. 

52 


CHOLERA  AT  ST.  MICHAEL'S 

It  is  by  their  final  profession  that  the  members  enter 
properly  speaking,  into  the  body  of  the  Society,  and  become 
eligible  for  offices  of  government  and  administration. 

In  the  words  of  the  Rule,  "  their  love  for  Jesus  Christ, 
their  zeal  for  the  glory  of  His  Divine  Heart,  their  charity 
towards  others,  in  a  word,  all  the  virtues,  whether  essential 
or  proper  to  their  holy  vocation,  should  as  much  excel  those 
to  be  found  in  novices,  as  a  person  running  along  the  road 
to  perfection  outstrips  one  who  is  seeking  it. 

"  Called  as  they  are  by  their  Institute  to  consecrate 
themselves  to  the  service  of  their  neighbor  and  to  the  sanc- 
tification  of  souls,  let  them  never  forget  that  they  should  be 
deeply  rooted  in  humility  and  charity.  The  nobler  and 
grander  their  work  is  in  the  light  of  faith,  the  more  they 
should  lower  and  annihilate  themselves  in  their  own  hearts. 
In  this  deep  sense  of  their  lowliness  and  nothingness,  they 
must  be  ready  at  all  times  to  accept  the  lowest  employ- 
ments in  the  house.  They  must  also  accept  contempt  and 
humiliation,  no  matter  whence  they  come,  as  well  as  the  re- 
proofs, mortifications  or  penances  which  the  superior  may 
think  useful  for  the  good  of  their  soul.  .  .  . 

"  Thus  faithful  to  the  grace  of  their  vocation,  they  will 
advance  more  and  more  in  the  way  of  perfection  and  pre- 
pare themselves  for  eternal  union  with  their  Divine 
Spouse." 

According  to  the  plan  of  the  Institute  this  important  step 
must  be  preceded  by  a  period  of  probation,  which  tn  the  be- 
ginning of  the  Society  was  three,  and  has  since  been  ex- 
tended to  six  months.  This  second  noviceship,  generally 
made  at  a  mature  age,  after  the  first  experiences  of  life  have 
been  gone  through,  is  one  of  the  most  powerful  means  of 
renewal  and  spiritual  progress.  During  that  time  study, 
teaching,  offices  are  all  interrupted  and  ample  time  given 
for  prayer,  silence  and  cultivation  of  the  interior  life. 

In  Madame  Hardey's  case  there  was  no  such  respite 
from  labor,  no  such  preparation  for  the  coming  of  the  bride- 

53 


MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

groom ;  but  the  lessons  of  heroic  suffering  and  filial  submis- 
sion to  the  Divine  Will  which  she  had  so  recently  learned  in 
the  midst  of  the  pestilence,  had  fully  prepared  her  for  the 
grace  of  profession,  which  she  made  on  the  iQth  of  July, 

1833- 

The  fervor  of  the  young  religious,  which  was  a  foreshad- 
owing of  the  life  of  devotedness  that  was  to  bring  forth  such 
rich  harvests  for  the  glory  of  the  Heart  of  Jesus,  imparted 
to  this  ceremony,  always  so  impressive,  a  spiritual  bright- 
ness that  led  Mother  Aude  to  write  to  Mother  Barat: 

"  Madame  Aloysia's  profession  was  a  ray  of  sunshine 
after  the  gloom  of  those  terrible  days  through  which  we 
passed." 

The  close  of  this  sadly  eventful  year  was  sealed  by  a 
sacrifice  keenly  felt  at  Saint  Michael's. 

Mother  Aude  was  recalled  to  France,  having  been  elected 
at  the  recent  General  Council  one  .of  the  four  Assistants  of 
the  Mother  General. 

In  writing  to  Mother  Barat  as  to  the  choice  of  her  suc- 
cessor, Mother  Aude  says :  "  Madame  Aloysia  could  be  su- 
perior, but  she  is  only  twenty-three  years  of  age,  and,  as 
you  remember,  made  her  profession  a  few  months  ago. 
.  .  .  These  are  the  only  obstacles  I  see,  for  she  has  the 
prudence,  talents  and  virtues  necessary  for  the  position." 

Two  days  later  this  letter  was  followed  by  another,  in 
which  Mother  Aude  says:  "Madame  Aloysia  has  all  the 
qualifications  requisite  for  one  at  the  head  of  a  house,  if  you 
can  overlook  her  age." 

Unquestionable  as  these  praises  were,  Mother  Barat 
deemed  it  unwise  to  depart  from  the  customs  of  the  Society, 
so  she  named  Madame  Bazire  superior  and  appointed 
Madame  Aloysia  assistant  superior,  in  addition  to  her  office 
of  mistress  general,  treasurer  and  mistress  of  class. 

Under  the  pressure  of  such  arduous  and  unremitting  la- 
bors Madame  Aloysia's  health  began  to  break.  In  June, 
1836,  she  wrote  to  Mother  Aude :  "  I  fear  my  chest  will  not 

54 


CHOLERA  AT  ST.  MICHAEL'S 

be  able  to  bear  more  than  ten  years  of  teaching.  But  what 
does  it  matter,  since  it  is  in  the  service  of  the  Society  that 
I  am  wearing  out.  Like  a  brave  soldier,  I  should  be  proud 
of  my  scars."  And  in  another  letter :  "  In  order  to  finish 
my  occupations,  I  have  to  take  from  my  night's  rest  what 
the  days  fail  to  supply,  but  I  am  only  too  happy  to  labor 
for  the  welfare  of  our  dear  Society  and  the  good  of  souls. 
I  have  always  been  faithful  to  your  parting  recommenda- 
tion, never  to  complain,  no  matter  how  multiplied  or  bur- 
densome my  duties  may  be.'' 

Mother  Hardey's  correspondence  with  Mother  Barat 
dates  from  this  time.  On  April  18,  1836,  she  wrote  her  the 
following  letter: 

"  MY  VERY  REVEREND  MOTHER: 

"  Our  revered  Bishop  Blanc  will  hand  you  this  letter 
and  he  promised  to  do  all  in  his  power  to  bring  me  in  re- 
turn a  few  lines  traced  by  your  own  hand.  He  has  been  our 
guest  for  a  few  days  and  he  seems  to  be  deeply  interested  in 
all  that  relates  to  our  welfare. 

"  He  will  tell  you  of  the  desire  of  Bishop  Purcell  to 
establish  a  house  of  the  Society  in  Cincinnati.  A  founda- 
tion there  would  contribute  greatly  to  the  advantage  of  our 
other  convents,  as  we  are  in  need  of  teachers  for  the  Eng- 
lish classes,  and  I  am  sure  such  teachers  could  be  found 
among  the  accessions  made  to  the  Society  in  Cincinnati.  Be- 
lieve me,  Very  Reverend  Mother,  our  little  family  of  Saint 
Michael's  is  prepared  to  make  any  sacrifice  you  may  demand 
to  further  this  undertaking,  which  we  have  all  the  more  at 
heart,  because  we  feel  sure  that  it  will  advance  the  interests 
of  the  Society.  As  to  your  Aloysia,  she  is  ready  to  give  you 
a  proof  of  her  devotedness  not  by  offering  herself  for  the 
foundation,  for  she  is  unworthy  of  being  chosen,  but  by  ac- 
cepting an  increase  of  labor  in  order  to  replace  those  whom 
you  may  deem  suited  for  so  noble  a  mission." 

About  the  same  time,  Mother  Hardey  recommended  the 

55 


MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

proposed  foundation  to  Mother  Aude,  whose  special  office 
in  Paris  was  to  watch  over  the  interests  of  the  American 
houses. 

In  her  letter  she  says:  "  We  have  had  the  honor  of  a 
visit  from  Bishop  Blanc  and  Bishop  Portier  of  Mobile. 
They  visited  the  school  and  the  community  and  seemed 
pleased  with  everything. 

"  Bishop  Blanc  asked  several  questions  about  the  com- 
munity, among  others,  whether  union  reigned  at  St.  Mi- 
chael's. '  Yes,  Monseigneur/  replied  one  of  the  religious, 
'  you  may  tell  our  Mother  General  that  we  are  one.' 

"  '  Why,  that  surpasses  the  Trinity,'  exclaimed  Bishop 
Portier.  '  Here  are  twenty-eight  nuns  and  they  make  but 
one.'  The  Bishop  of  Mobile  is  very  witty  and  affable." 

In  this  same  letter  Mother  Hardey  tells  Mother  Aude 
of  certain  difficulties  with  the  Trustees  of  the  Church,  aris- 
ing from  the  proximity  of  the  convent  to  the  parish  church. 
These  gentlemen  took  offense  because  the  religious  erected 
a  wall  of  inclosure  around  their  property.  With  the  hope 
of  appeasing  them,  Mother  Hardey  proposed  certain  plans, 
which  she  forwarded  to  Mother  Aude,  begging  her  to  sub- 
mit them  to  Mother  Barat  for  approval.  In  conclusion  she 
expresses  the  fear  that  her  letters  may  not  have  been  suffi- 
ciently clear  and  detailed. 

"  I  shrink  from  expressing  my  views  too  decidedly,"  she 
says,  "  and  this  often  makes  me  reticent.  Tell  her  that  you 
know  the  heart  of  your  American  daughter,  that  it  is  good, 
that  it  loves  her  as  much  as  an  American  can  love,  and  that 
is  more  than  an  American  can  express." 

While  Mother  Hardey  thus  found  solace  in  pouring  out 
her  anxieties  to  her  beloved  Mother  Aude,  a  grave  was 
about  to  open  for  one  whom  she  held  in  tender  affection. 

Mother  Xavier  Murphy,  the  friend  and  confidante  of  her 
school  days,  was  dying.  Although  they  had  met  but  sel- 
dom since  their  separation  in  1825,  they  always  remained 
faithfully  attached  to  each  other. 

56 


CHOLERA  AT  ST.  MICHAEL'S 

One  of  the  religious  of  those  days  gives  the  following 
account  of  Mother  Murphy's  visit  to  Saint  Michael's  in 
1834:  "  Our  families  in  Louisiana  were  very  united.  Many 
of  the  religious  were  strangers  in  a  strange  land,  and  this 
fact  seemed  to  link  their  hearts  in  bonds  of  closer  union. 
Mother  Murphy's  visit  was  hailed  with  joy.  On  one  of  our 
holidays  she  insisted  upon  serving  us  at  dinner,  saying  that 
she  deemed  it  an  honor  to  wait  upon  the  spouses  of  the 
Lord. 

"  Towards  the  end  of  the  meal  she  drew  from  her  pocket 
a  roll  of  paper  and  read  us  some  sprightly  verses  she  had 
written  for  the  occasion. 

"  This  esteemed  Mother  possessed  a  highly  cultivated 
mind  and  the  rare  gift  of  uniting  religious  sentiment  with  a 
cheerfulness  of  manner  that  brought  sunshine  wherever  she 
went." 

Though  a  prey  to  incessant  fever,  Mother  Murphy  re- 
tained to  the  last  her  joyful  serenity  of  character.  Writing 
to  Mother  Barat  as  her  death  drew  near,  she  says :  "  My 
soul  is  stronger  than  my  body,  for  my  mind  is  always  at 
peace.  The  more  imperfect  I  am,  the  more  God  seems  to 
love  me."  And  to  Mother  Duchesne  she  writes :  "  This 
fever  weakens  me  very  much ;  but  for  the  good  of  the  Com- 
munity it  is  well  for  the  Superior  to  suffer.  Pray  that  God 
may  give  me  grace  to  become  a  holocaust  for  His  glory." 

From  the  Annals  of  Grand  Coteau,  dated  September  6, 
1836,  we  are  able  to  give  an  account  of  the  last  hours  of 
Mother  Murphy's  well  filled  life :  "  We  have  no  longer  any 
hope  of  saving  our  beloved  superior.  God  in  His  wisdom 
has  not  answered  our  prayers  according  to  our  desires.  He 
wants  to  give  her  the  peace  of  a  better  world.  Early  this 
morning  we  sent  for  Father  Rossi,  but  when  he  arrived  our 
Mother  was  unable  to  receive  Holy  Viaticum.  She  was  con- 
scious, however,  and  the  privation  only  increased  her  merit 
and  revealed  to  us  in  a  clearer  light  her  admirable  virtues. 
Though  suffering  intensely,  she  awaited  death  with  a  peace 

57 


MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

and  serenity  which  proved  that  her  heart  had  already  found 
rest  in  the  Heart  of  Jesus.  She  pronounced  frequently  the 
sweet  names  of  Jesus  and  Mary,  pressed  the  crucifix  to  her 
lips,  and  often  rested  her  gaze  upon  a  statue  of  our  Blessed 
Lady.  About  five  minutes  before  midnight,  while  invoking 
the  sacred  name  of  Jesus,  she  expired  in  the  peace  of  the 
Lord." 

When  the  tidings  of  Mother  Murphy's  death  reached 
Saint  Michael's,  Mother  Hardey's  grief  found  vent  in  silent 
prayer  for  the  dear  departed  and  in  humble  acquiescence 
to  the  will  of  Him  who  had  blessed  her  with  the  gift  of  so 
true  and  loyal  a  friend.  She  little  dreamed  that  this  painful 
loss  would  prove  for  herself  the  immediate  cause  of  her  ap- 
pointment as  superior  of  Saint  Michael's. 

In  the  month  of  October  she  received  a  letter  from 
Mother  Barat,  from  which  we  quote  the  following  lines: 
"'  Try,  my  dear  Aloysia,  to  aid  your  superior  in  maintain- 
ing the  observance  of  Rule,  the  fulfillment  of  religious  ex- 
ercises and  the  practice  of  the  virtues  of  our  holy  vocation. 
If  you  have  the  care  of  the  novices,  train  them  rather  by 
the  force  of  example  than  by  precept.  Hold  lovingly  to  the 
observance  of  poverty  and  obedience  for  yourself  and  for 
them.  Impress  upon  them  that  they  cannot  be  true  Reli- 
gious of  the  Sacred  Heart,  without  loving  and  practising 
these  virtues,  which  are  the  essence  of  religious  life. 
Awaken  in  them  zeal  for  souls,  so  that  from  the  time  of 
their  noviceship  they  may  take  pleasure  in  teaching  the 
children,  in  waiting  upon  them  and  especially  in  serving 
the  poor. 

"  If  fervor  reigns  in  your  house  Jesus  will  bless  it  and 
He  will  send  you  subjects.  But  if  you  languish  in  virtue, 
if  each  one  prefers  her  own  interests  to  those  of  Jesus,  then 
all  will  slacken,  all  will  decay,  and  what  a  misfortune  that 
would  be  in  a  country  where  you  should  become  Angels  in 
order  to  gain  hearts  to  Jesus  Christ." 

A  few  weeks  later  another  letter  from  the  Mother  Gen- 

58 


CHOLERA  AT  ST.  MICHAEL'S 

eral  brought  the  announcement  that  Mother  Bazire  was  to 
go  to  Grand  Coteau  and  that  Mother  Hardey  was  to  replace 
her  as  Superior  of  Saint  Michael's. 

We  find  the  expression  of  Mother  Hardey's  grief  and 
profound  submission  in  the  following  letter  to  Mother 
Barat : 

"  MY  VERY  REVEREND  MOTHER  : 

"  My  happiness  would  have  been  complete  after  the  re- 
ception of  your  first  letter  but  for  the  early  arrival  of  an- 
other, which  has  caused  me  a  grief  so  profound  that  I  know 
not  how  to  bear  it.  I  communicated  its  contents  to  our 
good  Bishop,  and  only  for  his  encouragement  I  should  be 
crushed.  O,  my  Mother  General !  How  can  you  place  such 
a  burden  on  your  poor  Aloysia.  How  can  you  make  her 
unhappy  now,  when  for  the  past  twelve  years  she  has  found 
only  pleasure  in  the  prompt  and  entire  accomplishment  of 
your  will?  " 

After  further  respectful  protests  she  says : 

"  But  I  shall  resist  no  longer.  As  a  true  American  I 
promise  to  do  my  best.  If  in  order  to  succeed  I  have  only 
to  follow  your  counsels,  I  can  answer  beforehand  for  my 
success.  To  receive  your  precious  letters,  to  keep  you  faith- 
fully informed  of  all  that  transpires  here  will  be  my  great 
consolation.  I  have  noted  your  recommendations  and  they 
shall  be  followed  literally." 

In  conclusion  she  says: 

"  In  union  with  your  little  family  here  I  place  myself  at 
your  feet;  bless  us  and  commend  us  to  Him,  over  whose 
Heart  your  prayer  is  all  powerful." 

We  can  judge  by  a  few  extracts  from  Mother  Barat's 
letters  how  she  counselled  the  young  superior  to  begin  her 
administration :  "  Copy  in  everything,  my  dear  daughter, 
the  mode  of  government  of  Mother  Aude,  who  succeeded  so 
well  in  your  country.  .  .  .  Prayer,  confidence  in  Jesus, 
will  help  you  much.  Be  faithful  to  your  spiritual  exercises. 

59 


MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

Do  not  neglect  them  under  pretext  of  business.  You  will 
always  have  duties  to  attend  to,  but  you  should  rarely  sac- 
rifice your  time  of  prayer.  Observe  the  same  fidelity  in  re- 
gard to  your  day  of  recollection  once  a  month  and  your  an- 
nual retreat." 

We  have  seen  how  Mother  Hardey's  early  initiation  into 
the  government  of  the  school  and  the  discharge  of  other  im- 
portant offices  had  prematurely  developed  her  naturally 
strong  character.  The  sequel  will  show  that  she  possessed 
in  an  eminent  degree  those  rare  gifts  required  by  the  Rule 
in  one  who  fills  the  position  of  Administrator,  Guide  and 
Mother. 


60 


CHAPTER  VIII. 

MOTHER  HARDEY'S  ADMINISTRATION  AS  SUPERIOR — MOTHER 

GALITZIN  VISITATRIX  OF  THE  AMERICAN 

HOUSES — 1836-1841. 

Mother  Barat  once  wrote  to  one  of  her  daughters :  "  In 
order  to  govern  others  we  must  be  very  humble  and  pa- 
tient. Oh !  how  perfect  we  ought  to  be  when  we  have  to 
deal  with  the  imperfect!  Are  you  visited  by  the  Cross? 
Welcome  it  as  a  friend ;  you  will  find  in  it  a  well  spring  of 
spiritual  blessings.  Are  you  bent  upon  winning  a  soul? 
Suffer  for  it." 

In  humility  and  patience,  in  love  of  the  Cross  and  in  zeal 
for  the  glory  of  the  Sacred  Heart  of  Jesus,  Mother  Hardey 
entered  upon  the  duties  of  superiority,  a  burden  which  she 
was  destined  to  carry  for  fifty  years. 

A  little  incident  will  illustrate  the  gentleness  and  tact 
which  ever  marked  her  intercourse  with  her  daughters.  A 
Sister  who  was  very  fond  of  Mother  Bazire  had  hoped  to 
accompany  her  to  Grand  Coteau.  When  she  found  she  was 
not  to  go  she  was  very  much  disappointed,  but  she  made  no 
complaint. 

Mother  Hardey,  however,  divined  her  suffering  and 
hastened  to  offer  sympathy.  "  My  poor  child,"  she  said, 
"  we  have  imposed  on  you  a  great  sacrifice,  but  it  is  really 
because  you  are  so  much  needed  here ;  you  are  so  useful  in 
every  way."  Not  so  much  the  words,  but  the  tone  of  voice, 
so  full  of  maternal  interest,  touched  the  heart  of  the  young 
Sister,  who  from  that  moment  conceived  a  grateful  and  last- 
ing love  for  her  new  superior. 

Mother  Hardey  continued  to  appeal  to  Mother  Aude  for 
counsel,  but  it  was  especially  to  Mother  Barat  that  she 
looked  for  guidance  in  every  detail  of  her  office.  We  find 
in  their  mutual  correspondence,  on  the  one  hand,  the  sim- 

61 


MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

plicity  of  a  child  and  the  confidence  of  a  daughter,  on  the 
other  the  vigor  of  the  Foundress  and  the  tenderness  of  the 
Mother. 

In  one  of  these  communications,  Mother  Barat  wrote: 
''  Your  mode  of  government  pleases  me  very  much.  It 
seems  to  me  to  come  from  God.  He  will  always  bless  your 
obedience  and  you  will  gain  in  proportion.  I  am  greatly 
pleased  with  your  simplicity  and  confidence.  ...  I 
cannot  urge  you  too  strongly  to  ground  yourself  and  your 
(laughters  in  the  interior  spirit.  You  do  well  to  arrange 
your  duties  so  as  to  have  ample  time  for  meditation  and 
prayer.  How  I  long  to  visit  your  dear  Louisiana,  but  it  is 
useless  to  think  of  it.  Later  it  will  be  easier  for  you  to  come 
to  France,  and  what  a  consolation  it  will  be  for  me  to  see 
you!  While  awaiting  this  happy  moment,  my  daughter, 
sanctify  yourself  daily  more  and  more  in  order  to  procure 
greater  glory  to  the  Sacred  Heart  of  Jesus.  The  desire  to 
do  this  should  be  your  only  passion.  Your  heart  realizes 
the  necessity  of  making  reparation  for  the  neglect  and  for- 
getfulness  of  so  many,  even  His  own  Spouses,  and  it  is  a 
consolation  for  me  to  find  one  who  like  you  wishes  to  love 
Him  without  measure." 

The  following  extract  from  a  letter  to  Mother  Aude 
shows  in  strong  relief  a  distinguishing  feature  of  Mother 
Hardey's  character,  viz.,  her  perfect  frankness  with  her 
superiors.  "  I  keep  nothing  from  you,  my  clear  Mother,  and 
I  trust  you  will  be  equally  candid  with  me.  Do  not  fear  to 
pain  me  by  speaking  frankly,  for  I  like  sincerity  and  it  is 
the  surest  way  to  gain  my  confidence.  Reserve  on  your 
part  would  be  the  only  thing  that  could  diminish  my  un- 
bounded reverence  and  affection  for  our  Mother  General 
and  yourself. 

'  You  may  think  what  you  please  of  me,  blame  me,  re- 
prove me,  it  matters  not.  You  shall  know  all.  Pray  for  me. 
Our  Lord  has  given  me  much  to  suffer  of  late,  but  I  bear  all 
for  the  sake  of  our  Mother  General." 

62 


ADMINISTRATION  AS  SUPERIOR 

Another  time  she  writes  to  the  same :  "  If  my  occupa- 
tions were  in  harmony  with  the  sentiments  of  my  heart, 
how  many  letters  would  be  sent  to  you  and  our  Venerated 
Mother!  But  I  have  never  been  less  mistress  of  my  time 
than  since  it  has  pleased  Divine  Providence  to  make  me  a 
servant  of  the  servants  of  Christ.  Formerly  I  could  say, 
'  On  such  a  day  I  will  write  to  our  Mother  General  and  to 
my  beloved  Mother  Eugenie.'  Now  I  must  be  at  the  serv- 
ice of  every  one  night  and  day.  You  can  understand  how 
contrary  this  is  to  the  inclinations  of  nature. 

"  I  am  trying,  however,  to  be  patient,  for  something  tells 
me  that  this  state  of  things  will  not  last  always.  '  Old 
times,  good  old  times,'  will  come  again.  Have  you  forgot- 
ten your  English?  Do  not  forget  it.  It  is  the  language  you 
spoke  to  your  little  American  eighteen  years  ago." 

She  then  begs  Mother  Aude  to  obtain  Mother  Barat's 
authorization  for  the  erection  of  a  building  to  accommodate 
the  orphans.  "  I  am  distressed,"  she  says,  "  that  I  cannot 
receive  more  than  fourteen  of  these  dear  children.  Never 
were  they  so  good,  nor  their  relatives  so  pleased  with  their 
progress,  nor  requests  for  admission  so  frequent.  I  am  ac- 
cused of  preferring  them  to  the  boarders.  I  shall  not  deny 
it,  for  love  for  the  orphans  is  the  inheritance  I  received  from 
my  dear  Mother  Eugenie." 

Saint  Teresa  says  that  it  is  the  property  of  love  to  be 
working  in  a  thousand  different  ways,  and  this  thought 
seems  to  epitomize  Mother  Hardey's  life  as  Superior  of 
Saint  Michael's. 

We  read  in  a  letter  written  to  Mother  Barat  by  the  Su- 
perior of  Baton  Rouge :  "  You  will  rejoice  to  hear  that  the 
school  now  numbers  two  hundred  pupils.  Their  parents 
have  the  greatest  esteem  for  dear  Mother  Aloysia  Hardey, 
and  she  is  much  beloved  by  the  Community  and  the  outside 
world.  What  heightens  the  value  of  her  admirable  qualities 
is  the  fact  that  she  is  apparently  ignorant  of  them.  Our 
Lord  seems  to  take  delight  in  blessing  all  that  she  under- 
takes." 63 


MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

The  convent  buildings  could  no  longer  suffice  for  the 
accommodation  of  so  many  pupils,  so  it  became  advisable 
for  the  religious  to  seek  a  location  elsewhere,  especially  as 
the  Church  Trustees  continued  to  interfere  with  every  pro- 
ject that  might  better  the  situation. 

At  this  juncture  a  beautiful  estate  about  two  miles  dis- 
tant was  offered  for  immediate  sale,  and  as  the  conditions 
were  especially  advantageous,  Mother  Hardey  determined 
to  make  the  purchase. 

Her  letter  to  Mother  Barat  explains  the  difficulties  of 
the  situation : 

"  I  hesitated,  my  Very  Reverend  Mother,  about  purchas- 
ing this  property,  lest  it  should  not  be  in  accordance  with 
your  wishes;  yet  your  letter  of  last  January  gave  me  the 
assurance  that  I  was  free  to  act  when  circumstances  would 
not  admit  of  delay.  As  the  purchase  has  been  made  condi- 
tionally, it  may  be  cancelled  if  it  fails  to  receive  your  sanc- 
tion. You  can  form  some  idea  of  our  present  crowded  con- 
dition when  you  hear  that  we  lodge  two  hundred  children 
in  a  building  which  was  calculated  to  accommodate  only  a 
hundred  and  fifty.  I  wish  you  could  see  for  yourself  all  our 
inconveniences.  Who  knows  whether  our  Sisters  of  the 
Roman  Novitiate  would  ever  have  enjoyed  their  present  de- 
lightful abode,  had  not  you,  my  venerated  Mother,  visited 
Rome?  I  am  confident  you  would  seek  a  '  Villa  Lante '  for 
your  family  of  Saint  Michael's  were  you  to  witness  our 
present  needs. 

"  Of  late  our  position  here  has  become  intolerable.  As 
the  present  cemetery  is  full,  the  Trustees  are  agitating  the 
question  of  using  the  old  one,  which  is  in  the  immediate 
vicinity  of  our  house  and  which  was  abandoned  when  we 
came  here.  .  .  .  But  our  Good  Master,  while  sending 
us  these  crosses,  seems  to  bless  our  efforts  in  His  service, 
for  the  Community  and  school  were  never  more  numerous. 

"  We  have  at  present  in  the  house  one  hundred  and 
ninety-nine  pupils,  thirty-six  religious,  including  novices, 

64 


ADMINISTRATION  AS  SUPERIOR 

and  twenty-five  charming  little  orphans.  .  .  .  Although 
we  desire  with  the  greatest  anxiety  a  favorable  reply,  be  as- 
sured, my  Very  Reverend  Mother,  that  what  you  decide  will 
be  willingly  accepted ;  your  views  will  ever  be  mine.  Five 
years  ago  to-day  I  made  my  profession.  It  is  thirteen  years 
since  I  gave  myself  to  the  Society,  but  only  five  since  I  have 
been  able  to  say  to  myself,  '  Our  Mother,  our  Society  rec- 
ognize me  for  their  child,  or  rather  they  cannot  disown 
me.'  What  a  consolation !  There  is  none  greater  in  this 
world !  I  have  only  one  regret,  that  of  not  having  served 
the  Society  better. 

"  Adieu,  my  Very  Reverend  Mother ;  ask  of  Him  who 
can  refuse  you  nothing,  that  I  may  not  be  lost  in  trying  to 
save  others.  This  is  my  greatest  fear,  a  fear  which  never 
leaves  me." 

After  a  delay  of  several  months  Mother  Barat's  approval 
of  the  purchase  was  received.  With  a  courageous  heart 
Mother  Hardey  undertook  the  erection  of  the  new  convent, 
but  before  its  completion  she  was  transferred  to  a  distant 
field  of  labor. 

In  the  history  of  individual  souls,  sufferings  and  success 
are  related  to  each  other  as  the  shadow  to  the  light;  the 
gloom  of  one  follows  the  smile  of  the  other.  That  very  suc- 
cess which  was  shedding  lustre  over  the  convent  at  Saint 
Michael's  was  for  Mother  Hardey  the  cause  of  severe  trials. 
The  building  of  the  new  convent  was  in  process  of  erection 
when  Bishop  Blanc  ordered  Mother  Hardey  to  suspend  the 
work  and  remodel  the  plan  on  a  smaller  scale,  as  he  feared 
that  so  large  an  establishment  might  injure  the  prosperity 
of  the  Ursuline  Academy  in  New  Orleans ;  but  as  two  hun- 
dred pupils  had  to  be  provided  for,  the  matter  was  referred 
to  the  Mother  General. 

In  her  reply,  Mother  Barat  enjoined  the  greatest  defer- 
ence to  ecclesiastical  authority,  explaining  at  the  same  time 
that  concessions  could  not  be  made  which  might  prove  det- 
rimental to  the  works  of  the  Society.  "  Should  the  Bishop 


MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

command,"  she  wrote,  "  you  must  without  doubt  obey,  but 
I  should  be  obliged  to  protest ;  in  that  case  I  would  trans- 
plant you  to  another  field  of  labor.  We  must  be  free  to  fol- 
low our  vocation."  She  then  advises  securing  the  assist- 
ance of  an  influential  ecclesiastic,  a  friend  of  the  convent, 
and  very  competent  to  give  judicious  counsel  in  this  deli- 
cate matter. 

In  writing  the  lives  of  the  friends  of  God,  the  chapter 
of  trials  will  always  remain  incomplete,  especially  when 
there  is  question  of  their  mission  with  souls.  How  much 
ingratitude  comes  to  light  over  which  we  must  throw  a  veil ! 
How  much  anguish  of  heart,  impossible  to  describe,  with- 
out betraying  the  secrecy  which  charity  ordains! 

A  letter  from  Mother  Barat  came  to  console  and 
strengthen  her  daughter  Aloysia.  It  is  dated  Rome,  Febru- 
ary 26,  1838.  We  quote  the  following  extracts:  "The  af- 
fair of  the  letter  which  was  copied  and  used  against  us, 
caused  me  much  grief,  and  in  accordance  with  your  advice 
we  shall  take  our  precautions  that  a  similar  occurrence  will 
not  happen  in  future.  Divine  Providence  has  permitted 
these  difficulties,  my  dear  daughter,  in  order  to  try  us,  and 
also  to  attach  me  still  more  to  you  and  to  your  house.  You 
belong  to  the  Sacred  Heart  and  you  are  the  first  of  my 
American  daughters;  is  not  that  sufficient  to  claim  my  af- 
fection? Besides,  naturally,  I  like  your  nation  and  its  ex- 
cellent qualities,  and  there  is  no  fear  of  a  misunderstanding 
between  you  and  me.  I  appreciate  fully  your  embarrassing 
position.  Do  not  be  in  the  least  disturbed  by  what  you  may 
hear,  for  this  gossip  will  not  make  the  slightest  impression 
on  me.  When  I  need  any  explanations  I  will  have  recourse 
to  you  and  then  I  shall  remain  in  peace. 

"  Give  up  your  classes,  dear  Mother.  A  superior  should 
not  be  overburdened.  Employ  all  the  time  you  can  com- 
mand in  prayer  and  spiritual  reading." 

Mother  Hardey  considered  it  a  happy  privilege  to  com- 
ply with  this  injunction,  for  it  was  in  prayer  that  she  found 

66 


ADMINISTRATION  AS  SUPERIOR 

light  and  strength  to  labor  for  the  welfare  of  the  religious 
family  she  so  ardently  loved. 

The  interests  of  the  Society  were  always  uppermost  in 
her  thoughts  and  were  always  preferred  to  any  personal 
considerations.  Of  this  we  find  a  proof  in  one  of  her  letters 
to  Mother  Aude :  "  I  beg  of  you,  if  there  should  be  any  ques- 
tion of  admitting  my  old  Aunt  Theresa  (Miss  Theresa  Har- 
dey)  to  oppose  it  strongly.  The  Society  would  gain  nothing 
by  receiving  her,  although  she  is  so  holy.  Her  advanced 
age  renders  her  unfit  for  our  mode  of  life,  and  though  she 
might  be  able  to  live  according  to  Rule  in  what  is  strictly 
essential,  her  years  and  incapacity  would  require  dispensa- 
tions wholly  at  variance  with  religious  discipline  and  the 
observance  of  community  life." 

Love  of  rule  in  its  smallest  detail  was  a  marked  charac- 
teristic of  Mother  Hardey.  She  herself  was  the  living  rule, 
regular,  punctual,  exact,  in  so  easy  and  natural  a  manner 
that  she  seemed  to  be  moulded  in  its  spirit ;  and  in  the  train- 
ing of  her  daughters  she  sought  to  correct  all  peculiarities 
which  might  conflict  even  remotely  with  what  is  familiarly 
known  as  "  common  life."  Thus  we  find  in  the  reminis- 
ences  of  Mother  Galwey,  Vicar  of  the  Missouri  Province, 
many  things  which  throw  light  upon  Mother  Hardey 's 
method  of  training  novices  in  the  spirit  of  their  vocation. 
Mother  Galwey  was  over  thirty  years  of  age  at  the  time  of 
her  admission  into  the  Society,  and  she  had  already  made 
some  progress  in  the  ascetic  life,  under  the  guidance  of 
Bishop  David,  Coadjutor  of  Bardstown,  Kentucky.  Shortly 
after  her  entrance,  when  the  novices  were  preparing  to  cele- 
brate the  Feast  of  St.  Stanislaus,  their  patron,  she  an- 
nounced in  Mother  Hardey's  presence  that  she  had  no  devo- 
tion to  "  boy  saints  " ;  her  patron  was  St.  Ignatius,  the  illus- 
trious founder  of  the  Society  of  Jesus,  but  when  the  feast 
day  arrived  the  novices  were  dispensed  from  their  accus- 
tomed duties  and  left  free  to  enjoy  themselves.  Madame 
Galwey,  however,  spent  the  day  at  her  usual  occupations. 

67 


MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

Her  obedience,  always  prompt  and  loving,  was  ready  for 
every  call,  yet  as  the  day  wore  on  she  realized  that  she  was 
the  only  novice  not  enjoying  the  holiday.  In  her  impulsive 
way  she  went  to  Mother  Hardey  to  inquire  the  cause.  "  Did 
you  not  say,"  was  the  answer,  "  that  you  had  no  devotion  to 
'  boy  saints? '  "  The  gentle  reproof  was  understood  and  re- 
membered. Before  the  lapse  of  another  year  St.  Stanislaus 
had  one  more  loving  client. 

On  another  occasion  Madame  Galwey  declared  with  a 
certain  emphasis  that  she  objected  to  changing  her  bed,  as 
she  could  not  sleep  the  first  night  in  a  new  place.  Mother 
Hardey  made  no  comment  at  the  time,  but  towards  evening 
she  sent  a  message  to  the  novice  to  put  her  bed  in  the  gar- 
ret. The  following  day  a  new  resting  place  was  assigned, 
the  third  day  another,  and  so  on  for  twelve  consecutive 
nights.  Madame  Galwey  understood  the  motive  for  these 
repeated  changes,  and  in  relating  the  trial  of  her  noviceship 
in  after  years,  she  remarked  that  Mother  Hardey  had  taught 
her  how  to  find  rest  in  every  corner  of  the  Sacred  Heart. 

Training  such  as  this  helped  to  temper  the  strong  char- 
acter of  the  novice,  and  at  the  expiration  of  her  two  years' 
noviceship,  when  she  made  her  First  Vows,  she  was  found 
competent  to  fulfill  the  office  of  assistant  superior. 

In  this  position  her  experience,  judgment  and  ability 
enabled  her  to  render  valuable  services  to  her  superior,  but 
the  youthful  appearance  of  the  latter  was  on  several  occa- 
sions the  cause  of  amusing  mistakes.  Thus  once,  when  a 
gentleman  called  to  make  inquiries  about  the  school, 
Mother  Hardey  presented  herself  to  give  the  required  in- 
formation. The  visitor  stated  that  he  wished  to  place  his 
daughter  at  the  school  and  therefore  desired  to  transact  his 
business  with  the  superior,  or  at  least  with  one  of  the  older 
religious.  Without  a  word,  Mother  Hardey  amiably  with- 
drew and  sent  Mother  Galwey,  whose  mature  appearance 
proved  satisfactory. 

On  another  occasion  a  gentleman  refused  to  tell  her  the 

68 


ADMINISTRATION  AS  SUPERIOR 

object  of  his  visit  as  it  was  a  matter  of  great  importance 
which  he  could  not  communicate  to  any  one  but  the  supe- 
rior. This  time  Mother  Hardey  was  obliged  to  admit  that 
she  held  that  office.  "  What,"  he  exclaimed,  "  you  the  supe- 
rior? How  could  anyone  appoint  a  youngster  like  you  to 
such  a  position?  "  "  It  is  a  surprise  to  myself,"  she  quietly 
answered,  "  and  soon  my  superiors  will  discover  their  mis- 
take." Before  the  close  of  the  interview,  however,  her  visi- 
tor recognized  the  maturity  of  her  judgment,  and  in  offer- 
ing his  apology  declared  that  it  was  not  folly,  but  wisdom 
had  prompted  her  appointment. 

Between  the  years  1839  and  1842,  the  Society  of  the 
Sacred  Heart  passed  through  a  crisis  which  proved  that  its 
strength  was  from  God  and  that  its  foundress  was  well 
grounded  in  humility. 

The  rapid  growth  of  the  Society  seemed  to  require  cer- 
tain amendments  to  the  Rules,  but  only  in  matters  of  sec- 
ondary importance.  At  the  Council  convened  in  1839,  some 
changes  were  introduced,  which  appeared  to  conflict  with 
the  original  Plan  of  the  Institute.  When  these  decrees  were 
promulgated,  remonstrances  were  sent  to  the  Mother  Gen- 
eral from  all  quarters.  She  had  the  sorrow  to  realize  that 
she  was  opposed  by  many  of  her  daughters,  upon  whom  she 
relied  for  help  in  the  hour  of  her  great  perplexity. 

It  does  not  enter  into  our  narrative  to  give  the  history 
of  this  painful  episode,  which  called  forth  a  protest  from  the 
Minister  of  Public  Worship  in  France,  engaged  the  paternal 
interest  of  a  large  body  of  the  French  episcopacy,  as  also  of 
the  great  Cardinals  Pedicini  and  Lambruschini,  and  lastly 
drew  from  the  Sovereign  Pontiff,  Gregory  XVI.,  the  defi- 
nite word,  touching  the  important  questions  at  issue. 

We  alluded  to  the  event  here,  because  it  offers  a  new 
proof  of  Mother  Hardey's  adherence  to  authority  in  the  per- 
son of  the  Mother  General.  While  the  Decrees  met  with 
opposition  in  some  of  the  convents  in  America  as  well  as  in 
France,  they  were  cordially  received  at  Saint  Michael's. 

69 


MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

Thus,  in  writing  to  Mother  Barat  on  the  subject,  Mother 
Hardey  says :  "  During  vacation  Monseigneur  Forbin  Jan- 
son  gave  us  our  annual  retreat.  We  took  occasion  of  that 
season  of  grace  to  read  the  Decrees,  and  we  began  at  once 
to  conform  to  them." 

Mother  Barat  appreciated  the  prompt  and  entire  sub- 
mission of  her  daughters  and  wrote  in  reply :  "  What  con- 
solation you  have  given  me,  my  dear  Aloysia,  by  your  read- 
iness to  make  essay  of  the  new  Decrees.  Your  prompt  obe- 
dience will  be  very  pleasing  to  God.  .  .  .  Jesus  will 
surely  bless  it."  She  then  urges  Mother  Hardey  to  take 
care  of  her  health.  '  Try  to  spare  yourself,  for  you  have 
much  to  do  for  the  glory  of  the  Sacred  Heart  of  Jesus  and 
the  good  of  souls. 

This  letter  was  soon  followed  by  another,  in  which  she 
announced  the  approaching  departure  of  a  Visitatrix  for 
America.  This  measure  had  been  decided  upon  in  the 
Council  of  1839,  m  order  to  secure  that  uniformity  of  cus- 
toms and  observances  so  conducive  to  union  of  minds  and 
hearts.  Mother  Elizabeth  Galitzin,  one  of  the  Assistants 
General,  was  chosen  for  this  important  mission. 

This  remarkable  woman  was  illustrious  by  birth,  char- 
acter and  education.  Born  in  Saint  Petersburg,  1795,  of  the 
princely  race  of  Galitzin,  she  was  brought  up  in  the  Rus- 
sian schism,  and  was  deeply  imbued  with  its  spirit  of  hos- 
tility to  the  Roman  Catholic  Church.  Left  fatherless  in  her 
infancy  by  the  death  of  Prince  Alexis  Andrievitch,  her  edu- 
cation was  carefully  directed  by  her  mother,  the  Countess 
of  Protosof,  who  employed  scholarly  tutors  to  cultivate  the 
mind  of  this  highly  gifted  girl.  Elizabeth  acquired  a  knowl- 
edge of  Latin  and  learned  to  speak  and  write  with  great 
fluency  French  and  English.  The  fine  arts  also  held  a  con- 
spicuous part  in  her  education.  Her  mother  loved  her,  but 
treated  her  harshly,  and  even  allowed  her  tutors  to  beat 
her  cruelly.  Under  this  influence  she  developed  a  stern, 
inflexible  character,  "  hard  as  steel  with  a  heart  as  true  as 
gold."  ?o 


ADMINISTRATION  AS  SUPERIOR 

At  the  age  of  sixteen  she  was  informed  of  an  event, 
which,  for  a  time,  filled  her  heart  with  bitter  hatred  towards 
the  Catholic  Church  and  especially  towards  the  Jesuits,  who 
had  a  house  of  the  Order  in  St.  Petersburg.  We  give  the 
account  in  her  own  words :  "  My  mother  called  me  to  her 
room  and  told  me  she  was  about  to  confide  to  me  a  secret, 
which  I  was  not  to  reveal  to  anyone,  lest  we  should  be  ex- 
posed to  exile  and  even  to  death.  She  then  went  on  to  say 
that  she  had  been  received  into  the  Catholic  Church  nearly 
ten  years  before,  giving  me  her  reasons  for  leaving  the 
Greek  schism  in  spite  of  the  laws  of  Russia  and  the  terrible 
example  of  the  tortures  inflicted  upon  one  of  my  ancestors 
for  his  conversion  to  the  Catholic  Faith."* 

The  announcement  of  the  conversion  of  her  mother 
caused  such  violent  agitation  in  the  mind  of  the  young  prin- 
cess that  she  registered  in  her  own  blood  a  vow  of  hatred 
against  the  Catholic  Church,  and  the  Jesuits  in  particular, 
invoking  the  Divine  wrath  upon  her  future  life  should  she 
ever  prove  faithless  to  her  solemn  engagement. 

Four  years  later,  however,  that  strong  nature  yielded  to 
the  touch  of  grace,  and  she  requested  baptism  on  bended 
knees  from  Reverend  Father  Rosaven,  Superior  of  the  Jes- 
uits. He  inquired  if  she  was  ready  to  suffer  persecution  and 
even  death,  perhaps,  for  the  sake  of  the  religion  she  wished 
to  embrace.  "  I  hope  all  things  through  the  mercy  of  God," 
was  her  ready  answer,  although  she  relates  the  blood 
seemed  to  freeze  in  her  veins  as  she  pronounced  the  words. 

After  entering  the  Church,  she  resolved  to  become  a  reli- 
gious. In  1812  the  Jesuits  were  expelled  from  Russia,  but 
Father  Rosaven  continued,  from  afar,  to  direct  his  spiritual 
daughter.  He  spoke  of  her  to  Mother  Barat,  who  seconded 

*  Prince  Michael  Galitzin,  who  having  become  a  Roman  Catholic  was  forced 
by  the  Empress  Anne  to  play  the  part  of  Court  buffoon,  and  to  submit  to  a  mock 
marriage  in  the  celebrated  "  Ice  Palace."  which  she  had  caused  to  be  erected  on 
the  frozen  surface  of  the  River  Neva.  Though  his  sufferings  were  intense,  he 
survived  the  cruel  treatment  and  adorned  his  name  by  his  Christian  and  princely 
virtues. 

71 


MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

his  efforts  to  direct  this  soul  according  to  the  designs  of 
Providence.  Ten  years  after  her  conversion  she  was  ad- 
mitted into  the  Society  of  the  Sacred  Heart.  She  had  no 
dowry,  owing  to  her  mother's  opposition  to  her  becoming  a 
religious,  but  this  circumstance  only  secured  for  her  a  more 
heartfelt  welcome  from  Mother  Barat.  "  I  shall  be  de- 
lighted to  receive  you,"  she  wrote,  "  with  nothing  but  the 
clothes  you  are  wearing,  as  St.  Francis  Borgia  received  the 
young  Stanislas  Kostka.  The  choice  and  admission  of  a  sub- 
ject will  never  be  with  us  a  pecuniary  affair.  A  good  voca- 
tion, a  good  spirit  and  some  degree  of  talent  are  all  the 
dowry  we  require.  If  you  bring  us  a  soul  thoroughly  de- 
tached from  the  things  of  this  world  you  will  be  rich,  my 
dear  child,  and  we  shall  welcome  you  with  joy." 

As  a  novice,  Madame  Galitzin  was  remarkably  cheerful 
and  submissive  to  all  the  requirements  of  religious  life. 

Her  obedience  was  striking.  "  I  may  be  wanting  in 
many  virtues,"  she  once  remarked,  "  but  when  I  stand  at 
the  gate  of  Heaven  I  wish  to  be  able  to  say,  '  Open  to  me, 
for  I  have  obeyed.'  " 

After  her  religious  profession  she  was  named  Secretary 
General  of  the  Society,  an  office  for  which  she  was  eminent- 
ly fitted  by  her  knowledge  of  foreign  languages,  her  excel- 
lent judgment  and  sterling  virtues. 

Such  was  the  religious  appointed  to  visit  the  American 
houses,  and  of  whom  Mother  Barat  wrote  to  Mother  Har- 
dey:  "Strive  to  enter  fully  into  her  views  for  the  greater 
glory  of  the  Sacred  Heart  of  Jesus,  and  for  the  good  of 
souls ;  yet,  my  daughter,  it  will  not  be  contrary  to  the  per- 
fection of  obedience  to  make  known  to  her  the  customs  of 
your  country  and  the  inconveniences  which  might  arise 
from  the  adoption  of  certain  measures  or  regulations  pro- 
posed by  her.  She  will  profit  by  your  counsel  and  experi- 
ence, and  you  will  be  able  to  speak  to  her  with  all  the  more 
liberty  if  you  are  disposed  to  yield  to  whatsoever  she  may 
deem  advisable  for  the  greater  glory  of  God." 

72 


CHAPTER  IX. 

MOTHER  GALITZIN  VISITS  SAINT  MICHAEL'S — FOUNDATION 
IN   NEW  YORK — MOTHER  HARDEY  LEAVES   SAINT  MI- 
CHAEL'S— DEATH  OF  MOTHER  AUDE — 1841-1842. 

Mother  Galitzin  was  warmly  welcomed  on  her  arrival 
in  New  York  by  Bishop  Dubois,  who  had  been  urging 
Mother  Barat  for  many  years  to  establish  a  house  of  her 
society  in  his  diocese. 

This  desire  of  the  venerable  prelate  may  be  said  to  date 
back  to  July  3ist,  1827,  when  the  sailing  vessel  Edward 
Quesnel  entered  the  harbor  of  New  York  after  a  voyage 
of  forty-five  days  across  the  Atlantic. 

Among  the  passengers  on  board  were  two  young  priests 
who  had  studied  at  St.  Sulpice,  Samuel  Eccleston  and  J.  B. 
Purcell,  both  of  whom  became  subsequently  Archbishops  of 
Baltimore  and  Cincinnati.  The  Reverend  Clergymen  had 
under  their  care  four  religious  of  the  Sacred  Heart,  Mes- 
dames  Du  Four,  Dorival,  Vandamme  and  Piveteau.  From 
the  journal  of  Madame  Piveteau  we  learn  many  interesting 
details  of  the  voyage,  especially  of  the  anxiety  of  the  nuns 
to  reach  land  in  time  to  hear  Mass  and  receive  Holy  Com- 
munion on  the  Feast  of  St.  Ignatius,  to  whose  patronage 
they  had  confided  their  new  mission. 

To  gratify  their  devotion,  Rev.  J.  B.  Purcell  took  them 
ashore  in  a  row  boat,  then  accompanied  them  to  the  Cathe- 
dral, where  he  offered  the  Holy  Sacrifice  for  a  safe  voyage. 
The  religious  were  most  cordially  received  by  Bishop  Du- 
bois, who  obtained  hospitality  for  them  in  the  Wilcox  family. 
They  tarried  only  a  few  days  before  starting  on  their  west- 
ern journey,  but  the  impression  which  they  gave  of  their 
Institute  was  so  favorable  that  it  bore  fruit  in  later  years. 

Bishop  Dubois  wrote  to  Mother  Barat  in  the  month  of 
October,  1827:  "  It  was  my  intention  to  visit  you  and  your 

73 


MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

pious  associates  in  Paris  in  order  to  give  you  a  better  idea 
of  our  country  before  asking  you  to  establish  a  house  in 
New  York.  There  is  no  doubt  as  to  the  success  of  an  order 
like  yours  in  this  city;  indeed,  it  is  greatly  needed;  but  a 
considerable  sum  of  money  would  be  required  to  supply  the 
urgent  needs  of  the  foundation.  The  Catholic  population, 
which  averages  over  thirty  thousand  souls,  is  very  poor,  be- 
ing chiefly  composed  of  Irish  emigrants.  Contributions 
from  Protestants  are  so  uncertain  and  property  in  the  city 
so  expensive,  that  I  cannot  promise  any  assistance.  All  I 
can  say  is  that  I  believe  one  of  your  schools,  commenced 
with  sufficient  money  to  purchase  property  and  support  it- 
self, until  the  ladies  have  time  to  make  themselves  known, 
would  succeed  beyond  all  our  expectations." 

After  expressing  the  hope  of  seeing  her  on  his  approach- 
ing visit  to  Rome,  he  adds:  "  I  have  the  sorrow  of  witness- 
ing an  abundant  harvest  rotting  in  the  earth,  through  lack 
of  Apostolic  laborers  and  the  necessary  funds  to  organize 
the  various  needs  of  the  diocese.  In  the  meantime,  dear 
Madame,  please  to  prepare  subjects  for  me.  If  my  plans 
meet  with  success,  I  shall  be  able  to  conduct  hither  on  my 
return  a  colony  of  your  angels  of  virtue  and  zeal.  Believe 
me,  I  am  penetrated  with  respect  and  esteem  for  your  holy 
Congregation,  as  also  for  you,  Madame,  its  worthy  Supe- 
rior and  Foundress." 

This  appeal  was  in  accordance  with  the  wishes  of 
Mother  Barat,  who  earnestly  wished  to  establish  at  some 
future  day  a  house  of  her  Institute  in  the  Metropolis  of  the 
Western  Hemisphere.  But  lack  of  resources  constrained 
her  to  delay  the  execution  of  her  plan,  as  it  was  neither  ad- 
visable nor  possible  to  start  the  work  under  those  restric- 
tions of  poverty  which  weighed  so  heavily  on  the  founda- 
tions made  in  Missouri  and  Louisiana. 

Bishop  Dubois  was  not  discouraged  by  this  first  refusal, 
and  when  Mother  Aude  left  for  France  in  1833,  his  lordship 
confided  to  her  the  following  letter  to  Mother  Barat : 

74 


MOTHER  GALITZIN  VISITS  ST.  MICHAEL'S 

"  You  would  have  a  poor  opinion  of  my  eagerness  to  pos- 
sess a  branch  of  your  dear  and  holy  Community,  were  you 
to  judge  of  it  by  my  long  silence  on  the  subject.  Although 
I  am  convinced  of  the  boundless  good  which  it  would  ac- 
complish and  of  its  certain  success,  yet  I  have  not  concealed 
from  myself,  nor  from  you,  the  difficulties  to  be  encoun- 
tered in  the  beginning. 

"  The  presence  of  Madame  Eugenie  has  revived  all  my 
hopes.  She  has  seen  and  pointed  out  to  me  what  might  be 
accomplished.  I  do  not  believe  the  obstacles  are  insur- 
mountable. Some  efforts  and  sacrifices  made  in  favor  of 
this  foundation  would  produce  the  most  brilliant  and  con- 
soling results.  I  leave  details  to  good  Mother  Eugenie,  who 
will  make  known  to  you  all  that  she  has  seen  and  heard." 

Mother  Eugenie's  report  only  confirmed  the  Mother 
General  in  her  opinion  that  the  moment  appointed  by  Di- 
vine Providence  had  not  yet  arrived,  but  seven  years  later, 
Bishop  Hughes,  Coadjutor  to  Bishop  Dubois,  went  to  see 
Mother  Barat  and  refused  to  leave  the  house  until  she  gave 
him  her  promise  to  send  Mother  Galitzin  to  make  the  nec- 
essary arrangements. 

Mother  Galitzin's  arrival  in  New  York  awakened  gen- 
eral interest  in  the  foundation.  The  principal  ladies  in  the 
city,  Protestant  as  well  as  Catholic,  wished  to  be  presented 
to  her,  as  her  name  and  relationship  to  Prince  Galitzin,  the 
saintly  Apostle  of  Pennsylvania,  had  created  quite  a  sensa- 
tion in  social  circles.  Bishop  Hughes  conducted  her 
through  various  parts  of  the  city  in  search  of  a  suitable  lo- 
cation, but  though  unable  to  find  one  at  the  time,  Mother 
Galitzin  realized  that  New  York  would  be  a  great  field  for 
the  works  of  the  Society,  and  before  leaving  she  promised 
to  open  an  Academy  in  the  course  of  the  following  year. 

From  Missouri  she  went  to  St.  Michael's,  where  she  was 
eagerly  expected  by  the  Community  and  pupils,  though  a 
feeling  of  awe  mingled  with  their  joy,  at  receiving  a  prin- 

75 


MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

cess  whose  conversion  had  aroused  interest  even  in  Amer- 
ica. "  For  myself,"  said  Mother  Hardey,  speaking  of  the 
event,  "  I  dreaded  the  ordeal  of  meeting  her,  but  I  tried  to 
find  consolation  in  the  thought  that  she  was  the  representa- 
tive of  our  Mother  General." 

As  the  hour  of  arrival  drew  near,  the  Community  as- 
sembled to  give  formal  greeting  to  the  Mother  Visitatrix. 
When  the  carriage  reached  the  house,  a  religious  of  small 
stature  and  simple  bearing  alighted  and  hurriedly  inquired 
for  the  superior.  Mother  Hardey  at  once  presented  herself. 
"  My  dear,"  said  Mother  Galitzin,  "  we  met  a  man  on  the 
boat  who  is  selling  very  fine  cabbages  at  a  very  low  price. 
It  is  a  great  bargain ;  send  some  one  to  buy  them."  After 
such  a  salutation,  it  was  easy  to  forget  the  rank  of  the  prin- 
cess in  the  humble  religious  whose  love  for  holy  poverty 
was  manifested  in  such  a  practical  way.  Her  frank,  open, 
earnestness  of  manner  immediately  captivated  all  hearts. 
Mother  Hardey  wrote  of  her  in  the  following  terms  to 
Mother  Barat :  "  You  could  not  have  found  a  more  worthy 
representative,  or  one  whose  manners  and  views  are  better 
adapted  to  our  country.  She  has  gained  the  confidence  of 
our  family  and  all  hearts  are  already  devoted  to  her.  For 
myself,  I  acknowledge  that  the  capacity  in  which  she  comes 
would  have  sufficed  to  win  my  respect,  but  not  that  perfect 
confidence  which  she  inspired  at  first  sight.  Ah !  I  can  ap- 
preciate the  sacrifice  you  have  made  in  parting  with  this 
dear  Mother !  I  trust  the  good  which  she  is  destined  to  ac- 
complish among  your  American  daughters  may  compensate 
you  for  her  absence." 

Mother  Galitzin  on  her  part,  recognized  the  excellent 
qualities  of  Mother  Hardey,  and  her  letters  prove  the 
esteem  in  which  she  held  her.  Writing  from  New  York, 
whither  she  had  gone  to  make  the  final  arrangements  for 
the  foundation,  she  says :  "  The  time  is  approaching  when 
I  am  to  take  part  in  the  General  Congregation.  I  shall  keep 

76 


MOTHER  GALITZIN  VISITS  ST.  MICHAEL'S 

my  title  of  Provincial  until  the  nomination  of  my  successor. 
Madame  Hardey  could  fill  the  position  and  she  is  the  only 
one  here  capable  of  this  charge.  When  you  know  her  inti- 
mately you  will  be  convinced  that  she  is  endowed  with  rare 
capacity  for  government.  If  you  name  her  Provincial  on 
her  return  to  America,  the  nomination  will  be  favorably  re- 
ceived in  all  our  houses.  Our  communities  have  the  highest 
idea  of  her  merit  and  she  enjoys  universal  esteem.  Her  rep- 
utation has  preceded  her  to  this  city.  I  am  convinced  that 
under  her  direction  the  Academy  here  will  be  most  suc- 
cessful." 

Before  Mother  Galitzin's  arrival  in  America  Mother 
Barat  had  written  to  Mother  Hardey  of  her  desire  to  see 
her:  "  When  your  Visitatrix  has  reached  St.  Michael's,  per- 
haps you  could  be  spared  to  bring  us  a  few  of  your  reli- 
gious. This  is  a  desire,  not  a  probability,  for  St.  Michael's 
will  long  have  need  of  your  care.  Yet  I  am  anxious  to  see 
you  and  live  with  you  for  a  few  months  at  least.  I  can  no 
longer  hope  to  go  to  America.  I  am  too  old,  but  I  long  to 
become  acquainted  with  my  first  American  daughter.  I 
leave  this  desire  to  Our  Lord,  who  will  one  day  realize  it  if 
it  is  for  His  glory.  Give  me  your  opinion  on  the  subject, 
for  I  would  sacrifice  everything  rather  than  injure  a  family 
which  is  so  dear  to  me." 

Thus  it  was  just  when  St.  Michael's  was  at  the  height 
of  its  prosperity  that  Mother  Hardey  was  called  to  a  new 
field  of  labor.  In  view  of  the  importance  of  the  New  York 
foundation,  Mother  Barat  consented  to  the  proposition  of 
Mother  Galitzin,  and  with  breaking  hearts  her  daughters 
offered  their  sacrifice.  In  the  Annals  of  St.  Michael's  we 
find  this  paragraph :  "  In  the  departure  of  Mother  Aloysia 
many  of  the  Community  have  lost  their  first  Mistress  of 
Class,  their  companion  in  the  Novitiate,  or  their  first  Supe- 
rior, and  all  deeply  regret  the  beloved  Mother  whose  only 
aim  was  to  promote  their  truest  happiness  and  to  enkindle 
in  their  souls  love  for  the  Sacred  Heart  of  Jesus." 

77 


MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

Mother  Hardey  and  her  companion  probably  travelled 
to  New  York  by  way  of  Cincinnati,  as  we  learn  from  the 
following  letter  from  Bishop  Purcell  addressed  to  Mr.  Mark 
Anthony  Frenaye  of  Philadelphia: 

"  CINCINNATI,  8  May,  1841. 
"  MY  DEAR  MR.  FRENAYE  : 

"  Madame  Aloysia  Hardey  and  Madame  Hogan,  who  are 
on  their  way  to  New  York  to  commence  a  boarding  school 
under  the  auspices  of  Bishop  Hughes,  have  no  acquaint- 
ances in  Philadelphia.  I  therefore  earnestly  recommend 
them  to  your  care.  I  am  sure  either  the  good  Sisters  or 
Madame  Lajus,  or  some  other  Catholic  lady  will  be  de- 
lighted to  lodge  them  for  twenty-four  hours,  if  they  can 
stay  in  your  fair  city  so  long. 

"  Please  present  me  most  respectfully  to  your  saintly 
Bishop  and  Rev.  Messrs.  Gartland,  Sourin  and  Bishop 
Kenrick. 

"Most  respectfully  yours, 

"J.  B.   PURCELL."* 

Madame  Galitzin,  with  Mesdames  Thieffry  and  Shan- 
non, went  to  New  York  early  in  May,  1841.  They  were 
joined  by  Mother  Hardey  and  Madame  Hogan,  a  niece  of 
Madame  Galwey,  on  the  I7th  of  the  month,  and  a  few  days 
later  Madame  Boilevin,  Sister  Gallien  and  Delphine  Pratt, 
an  orphan,  arrived  from  St.  Louis. 

Bishop  Hughes  secured  hospitality  for  the  religious  with 
the  Sisters  of  Charity  at  St.  Patrick's  orphan  asylum,  while 
awaiting  possession  of  the  house  which  he  had  rented  for 
them,  and  one  of  the  religious  writes :  "  We  were  guests  of 
the  good  Sisters  for  three  months,  receiving  daily  every 
mark  of  kindness  and  courtesy  which  true  charity  delights 
to  bestow.  Far  from  looking  unfavorably  upon  our  advent 

*  Selections  of  letters  of  the  late  Mark  Anthony  Frenaye  published  in  the 
Records  of  the  American  Catholic  Historical  Society,  Philadelphia,  December,  1902. 

78 


MOTHER  GALITZIN  VISITS  ST.  MICHAEL'S 

into  the  diocese,  they  interested  themselves  in  securing  for 
us  both  pupils  and  postulants,  and  constantly  proved  them- 
selves true  spouses  of  a  God  who  is  all  charity." 

The  house  destined  for  the  Sacred  Heart  Academy  had 
been  occupied  for  years  as  a  school,  under  the  direction  of 
Madame  Chegary,  a  French  refugee,  who  had  sought  a 
home  in  America,  far  from  the  terrors  of  the  Revolution  in 
her  native  land.  In  the  early  part  of  the  century  her  Acad- 
emy had  enjoyed  a  brilliant  reputation  and  had  become  cele- 
brated as  the  Alma  Mater  of  many  of  the  daughters  of  the 
best  families  of  the  States.  It  was  pleasantly  situated  on 
the  corner  of  Houston  and  Mulberry  Streets,  a  part  of  the 
city  not  then  invaded  by  the  march  of  traffic.  The  spacious 
apartments,  communicating  by  massive  folding  doors,  the 
commodious  arrangements  of  the  building  and  the  pleasant 
garden  outside,  adapted  the  place  in  a  special  manner  to 
the  purposes  of  a  convent  school.  It  had  ceased  to  be  a 
home  of  learning  and  had  become  a  boarding  house,  kept 
by  a  Mrs.  Seton,  at  the  time  the  Bishop  secured  it  for  the 
religious  of  the  Sacred  Heart.  The  good  lady  promised  to 
vacate  the  premises  on  the  1st  of  June,  when  the  lease  of 
her  last  boarder  expired.  But  it  was  discovered  that  as  soon 
as  one  occupant  left,  she  rented  the  room  to  another. 

"  In  this  way,"  said  Mother  Hardey,  "  we  may  be  kept 
waiting  indefinitely.  Meanwhile  we  are  doing  nothing  and 
are  trespassing  upon  the  hospitality  of  the  good  Sisters.  We 
must  assert  our  rights  by  resorting  to  prompt  and  decisive 
measures." 

With  the  consent  of  Mother  Galitzin  she  repaired  to 
Houston  Street  and  informed  Mrs.  Seton  that  she  had  come 
to  take  possession  of  the  vacant  apartments,  in  order  to  pre- 
pare for  the  opening  of  the  school.  She  established  herself 
in  one  unoccupied  room  with  two  postulants,  and,  as  each 
room  was  vacated,  they  cleaned  and  prepared  it  for  the  spe- 
cial use  for  which  it  was  destined.  The  weeks  that  followed 
were  full  of  labor,  difficulties  and  privations,  but  in  the 

79 


MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

midst  of  her  trials  Mother  Hardey  never  lost  her  courage 
and  unalterable  calm.  One  of  the  postulants  was  taken  sud- 
denly with  a  severe  hemorrhage,  which  reduced  her  to  the 
last  extremity.  Sending  the  other  postulant  for  the  priest 
and  doctor,  Mother  Hardey  herself  washed  the  feet  and 
made  all  the  necessary  preparations  for  the  administration 
of  the  sacraments.  Happily,  the  girl  did  not  die,  but  her 
long  convalescence  was  an  additional  care  to  the  devoted 
Mother,  who  cheered  the  invalid  with  the  assurance  that 
she  considered  her  a  special  benediction  to  the  house. 

"  During  those  weary  days,"  writes  one  who  afterwards 
became  her  daughter,  "  I  frequently  visited  Mother  Hardey 
and  I  was  always  impressed  by  her  air  of  peace,  recollec- 
tion and  cheerful  acceptance  of  the  sacrifices  which  daily 
presented  themselves.  I  made  myself  her  commissioner 
and  I  thus  had  innumerable  opportunities  of  observing  her 
sustained  calmness  and  self-forgetfulness.  One  Sunday  I 
called  and  asked  to  accompany  her  to  the  Benediction  of  the 
Blessed  Sacrament.  She  declined  my  offer,  saying  that  she 
disliked  to  go  to  the  Cathedral,  except  for  Holy  Mass.  I 
proposed  a  walk  to  the  orphan  asylum  where  the  venerable 
Bishop  Dubois  was  to  give  Benediction.  On  obtaining  her 
consent,  I  hastened  to  the  episcopal  residence  and  asked 
the  Bishop  to  await  our  arrival.  He  kindly  assented,  and  I 
went  on  my  way  rejoicing  to  have  secured  for  Mother  Har- 
dey a  privilege  which  I  knew  would  prove  a  great  solace  to 
her.  Alas!  for  the  memory  of  the  aged  prelate!  When  we 
arrived  he  was  preparing  to  return  home.  '  O,  Monseig- 
neur,'  I  exclaimed,  '  you  promised  to  wait  for  us ! '  '  Did  I, 
my  child,'  said  he,  trying  to  recall  his  promise,  '  how  sorry 
T  am,  but  I  forgot  all  about  it.' 

"  I  was  distressed  to  have  brought  Mother  Hardey 
through  the  streets  to  no  purpose ;  but  there  was  no  trace  of 
disappointment  on  her  countenance.  '  We  shall  at  least  ob- 
tain the  Bishop's  blessing,'  she  said,  '  and  have  a  little  time 
in  adoration  before  the  Blessed  Sacrament,  a  privilege 

80 


First  New  York  Convent,  Houston  and  Mulberry  Streets, 
later  Convent  of  Sisters  of  Mercy 


MOTHER  GALITZIN  VISITS  ST.  MICHAEL'S 

which  I  do  not  often  enjoy  at  present.'  Thus  did  she  find 
compensation  for  every  disappointment  and  persuade  those 
who  wished  to  serve  her  that  they  had  not  entirely  failed." 

The  I3th  of  July,  Mother  Galitzin  and  her  companions 
took  possession  of  their  new  home.  That  same  day  Bishop 
Hughes  came  to  bless  the  little  community,  and  on  the  fol- 
lowing morning  he  offered  the  Holy  Sacrifice  of  the  Mass 
in  their  modest  chapel.  He  never  ceased  to  prove  himself 
their  gracious  father  and  benefactor,  as  is  testified  repeat- 
edly in  the  records  of  the  Houston  Street  Convent. 

On  the  22nd  of  July,  feast  of  St.  Mary  Magdalen,  the  pa- 
troness of  Mother  Barat,  His  Lordship  said  Mass  for  the 
second  time,  and  again  on  the  Feast  of  St.  Ignatius,  when 
he  blessed  the  house  and  solemnly  installed  our  Divine  Lord 
in  His  Tabernacle  Home. 

Mother  Galitzin  thus  describes  to  Mother  Barat  their 
new  abode :  "  The  house  is  situated  in  a  charming  position. 
It  will  be  a  joy  for  me  to  show  it  to  Mother  Sallion.  She 
will  be  astonished  to  find  that  we  have  spent  so  little  money, 
considering  that  we  have  renovated  every  room  from  garret 
to  cellar,  and  they  number  thirty.  The  part  destined  for 
the  chapel,  the  parlors  and  the  pupils  is  really  very  fine; 
that  set  apart  for  the  community  is,  thank  God,  simplicity 
itself,  and  poverty  reigns  there  supreme.  The  parlors  are 
very  simple  in  their  elegance,  for  we  have  them  carpeted. 
We  could  not  do  otherwise,  as  carpets  are  used  here  in  all 
the  houses,  even  in  kitchens,  and  the  Sisters  of  Charity  also 
have  them  in  their  parlors.  Our  chapel  will  be  beautiful. 
I  drew  the  design  of  the  Altar  and  Tabernacle  and  I  am 
happy  to  say  that  everyone  is  in  admiration  of  my  good 
taste.  We  have  several  applications  already  and  it  is 
thought  we  shall  have  a  large  school." 

The  first  to  apply  for  admission  to  the  Academy  was  a 
little  girl  thirteen  years  of  age.  She  asked  to  be  received  as 
a  free  pupil,  her  mother  being  unable  to  pay  the  pension. 
Mother  Hardey  was  touched  by  the  child's  simplicity  and 

6  81 


MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

accepted  her  at  once,  feeling  confident  that  the  child  of  pov- 
erty was  the  child  of  the  Heart  of  Jesus,  and,  as  their  first 
pupil,  would  bring  a  blessing  to  the  school.  Her  hopes  were 
more  than  realized.  The  young  girl  was  gifted  with  rare 
intelligence  and  exceptional  aptitude  for  all  branches  of 
studies.  When  her  education  was  completed  she  entered 
the  Society  and  throughout  her  religious  life  cherished  a 
child's  deepest  gratitude  to  Mother  Hardey.  She  was  a 
most  efficient  and  successful  mistress  in  the  school,  and  for 
several  years  held  the  office  of  superior  in  various  convents 
of  the  Order,  until  she  was  called  to  her  eternal  reward  in 
1862. 

Once  the  school  was  well  organized,  Mother  Galitzin 
was  anxious  to  start  for  Europe,  but  she  had  to  wait  until 
the  arrival  of  the  reinforcement  promised  by  Mother  Barat. 
In  her  letters  she  urges  the  Mother  General  not  to  delay,  as 
the  school  was  becoming  very  numerous  and  Mother  Har- 
dey could  not  be  spared.  "  She  is  my  right  hand,"  she 
writes ;  "  we  act  in  perfect  harmony.  Everyone  admires 
her,  and  she  is  making  the  reputation  of  the  house.  What 
happiness  it  will  give  me  to  present  her  to  you." 

On  the  I3th  of  September  Mesdames  Sallion,  Tucker, 
Talbot  and  Sister  Battandier  arrived  and  were  cordially 
welcomed  by  Mother  Galitzin  and  her  daughters.  In  the 
exuberance  of  her  joy,  Sister  Gallien  rang  the  convent  bell 
so  vigorously  that  the  neighbors  thought  the  house  was 
on  fire  and  rushed  to  the  rescue.  We  can  picture  the  dis- 
may of  the  nuns  to  find  the  house  surrounded  by  a  motley 
crowd,  greatly  disappointed  that  their  curiosity  could  not 
be  gratified  by  a  view  of  the  cloister. 

The  travellers  brought  two  letters  to  Mother  Hardey 
from  Mother  Barat.  In  the  first,  dated  Paris,  15  June,  1841, 
we  read :  "  You  will  be  consoled,  I  am  sure,  by  the  good 
news  which  our  Mothers  will  communicate  to  you.  Our 
foundations  seem  to  prosper,  thanks  to  the  Divine  Good- 
ness which  deigns  to  make  use  of  instruments  so  poor  and 

82 


MOTHER  GALITZIN  VISITS  ST.  MICHAEL'S 

unworthy,  to  promote  the  glory  of  the  Sacred  Heart.  .  .  . 
As  to  the  present  state  of  affairs  in  the  Society,  I  have  only 
one  word  to  say  to  you.  Hold  fast  to  the  trunk  of  the  tree, 
no  matter  what  you  may  hear!  Make  known  to  me  your 
doubts,  your  uneasiness,  for  we  shall  always  understand 
each  other.  My  Compass  shall  ever  be  the  See  of  Peter,  the 
Vicar  of  Jesus  Christ.  Directed  by  it  we  can  never  err,  and 
we  should  rather  die  than  swerve  from  its  guidance. 

"  However,  things  are  calming  down  by  degrees  around 
us.  Each  one  is  trying  to  do  all  she  can  for  the  good  of  the 
Society,  so  I  hope  that  Jesus  will  continue  to  bless  us.  He 
will  bless  you  especially,  dear  Aloysia,  if  you  understand 
the  importance  of  your  obligations.  Unite  yourself  to  Jesus 
and  count  upon  His  help  rather  than  your  own  capabilities, 
for  self-reliance  usually  spoils  everything." 

In  this  letter  Mother  Barat  refers  to  the  differences  of 
opinion  among  her  daughters  in  regard  to  the  Decrees  of 
the  Council  of  1839.  The  subject  was  to  be  settled  at  the 
approaching  General  Council,  of  which  Mother  Galitzin 
was  a  member.  As  we  have  already  learned,  she  chose 
Mother  Hardey  as  the  representative  from  America,  to  the 
great  satisfaction  of  Mother  Barat,  as  expressed  in  the  fol- 
lowing lines : 

"PARIS,  AUGUST  21,  1841. 
"Mv  DEAR  ALOYSIA  : 

"  Our  Mother  Provincial  could  not  have  given  me  a 
greater  pleasure  than  to  choose  you  as  her  companion  to 
the  Council,  where  you  will  have  the  opportunity  of  meeting 
nearly  all  the  first  Mothers  of  the  Society.  I  have  at  last 
the  hope  of  seeing  you,  if  the  Good  Master  will  sustain  my 
feeble  existence  until  then,  and  what  consolation  this  meet- 
ing will  give  me!  Take  care  of  your  health,  my  daughter, 
so  that  there  may  be  no  obstacle  to  your  departure.  As 
soon  as  I  reach  Rome,  whither  I  am  going  in  a  few  weeks, 
I  shall  settle  the  date  of  the  Council  and  the  time  for  you  to 
leave  America." 

83 


MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

Mother  Hardey  rejoiced  at  the  prospect  of  meeting  her 
venerated  Mother  General,  and  of  seeing  once  again  her 
beloved  Mother  Aude,  who  was  then  Superior  of  the  Trinita 
in  Rome.  But  the  latter  joy  was  to  be  reserved  for  Heaven. 
Mother  Aude  died  on  the  6th  of  March,  1842,  and,  by  a  dis- 
pensation of  Divine  Providence,  Mother  Hardey  only 
learned  the  news  as  she  was  about  to  enter  the  chapel, 
where  the  mortuary  notice  was  hanging.  Our  Lord,  no 
doubt,  wished  to  be  Himself  the  first  to  receive  the  outpour- 
ings of  a  grief  which  He  alone  could  console,  as  He  was  the 
only  one  who  understood  the  ties  of  affection  and  gratitude 
which  bound  her  to  the  Mother  who  had  been  the  channel 
of  His  graces  to  her. 

A  circular  letter  from  Mother  Barat  to  the  Society,  dated 
March  7th,  1842,  gave  the  details  of  Mother  Aude's  last 
moments: 

"  Yesterday  at  7  p.m.  our  dear  invalid  gave  up  her  soul 
into  the  hands  of  her  Creator.  The  agony  began  about 
noon,  and  shortly  after  she  lost  consciousness.  She  had  ap- 
peared during  the  morning  as  well  as  on  the  previous  days, 
so  I  secured  Confession  and  Holy  Communion  for  her,  that 
she  might  gain  the  Indulgence  of  the  Jubilee  which  opened 
that  day. 

"  While  she  was  fully  conscious,  Father  Rosaven  gave 
her  the  last  Sacraments ;  an  hour  after  would  have  been  too 
late.  During  the  long  and  painful  agony,  priests  and  re- 
ligious succeeded  one  another  in  reciting  the  prayers  of  the 
Church  for  the  dying.  Her  dispositions  were  those  of  a 
saint,  full  of  resignation,  confidence  and  the  sweetest  peace." 

The  body  of  Mother  Aude  was  laid  to  rest  in  the  crypt 
beneath  the  high  altar  of  the  Church  of  the  Trinita,  and,  as 
if  to  give  a  touching  emphasis  to  the  memory  of  her  mission 
in  America,  a  former  pupil  of  St.  Michael's,  attended  by  her 
negro  slave,  was  present  at  the  funeral  service. 


CHAPTER   X. 

VISIT   TO   ROME — RETREAT    AT    LYONS — RETURN    TO    NEW 

YORK — FOUNDATION    IN    CANADA — DEATH    OF 

MOTHER  GALITZIN — 1842-1844. 

As  the  New  York  foundation  was  now  established  on  a 
firm  basis,  Mothers  Galitzin  and  Hardey  left  it  in  charge  of 
Mother  Bathilde  Sallion,  and  sailed  for  France  on  the  iQth 
of  May,  1842.  Six  weeks  later  they  landed  at  Havre,  and 
after  resting  in  Paris  for  a  few  days  proceeded  to  Rome, 
where  the  Council  was  to  be  convened. 

They  were  warmly  received  by  their  warm-hearted  Ital- 
ian Sisters,  but  great  was  their  disappointment  to  find  that 
Mother  Barat  had  been  obliged,  through  force  of  circum- 
stances, to  leave  Rome  on  the  2ist  of  June.  She  had  re- 
turned to  France  to  calm  the  agitation  caused  by  her  pro- 
tracted absence.  Moreover  the  Cardinals,  who  were  friends 
of  the  Society,  advised  her  to  hold  the  General  Council  at 
Lyons,  as  neutral  ground  between  Rome  and  Paris. 

The  brief  stay  of  the  Mothers  from  America  in  the  Eter- 
nal City  abounded  in  holy  joys.  For  Mother  Galitzin,  it 
revived  old  associations  and  tender  memories,  while  for 
Mother  Hardey  it  offered  new  and  deeper  happiness.  There 
she  drank  in  fresh  draughts  of  faith  and  piety  in  her  visits  to 
the  Tomb  of  the  Apostles  and  the  great  Basilicas,  and  in 
treading  the  Arena  purpled  with  the  blood  of  the  Martyrs. 
But  the  privilege  most  dearly  prized  was  an  audience  with 
Gregory  XVI.  She  and  Mother  Galitzin  were  presented  to 
His  Holiness  by  Bishop  Rosati  of  St.  Louis.  This  devoted 
friend  took  pleasure  in  recounting  to  the  Holy  Father  the 
good  effected  by  the  Religious  of  the  Sacred  Heart  in 
America,  and  the  field  of  usefulness  yet  open  to  them. 

The  story  deeply  interested  the  Pope,  and  in  witnessing 
the  great  concern  which  he  manifested  in  the  welfare  of 

85 


MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

their  far-off  missions  his  spiritual  daughters  realized  more 
than  ever  before  how  truly  the  Pope  is  the  Father  of 
Christendom. 

Mother  Hardey  held  as  an  unfailing  joy  the  memory  of 
the  Pontiff's  benediction  bestowed  with  so  much  unction 
upon  herself  and  her  religious  family  and  their  works.  She 
treasured  until  her  death,  as  a  precious  souvenir  of  this  visit, 
a  little  bronze  medal  given  her  by  Gregory  XVI. 

At  the  Convent  of  the  Trinita  she  had  the  sad  consola- 
tion of  kneeling  at  the  tomb  of  her  beloved  Mother  Aude, 
and  of  hearing  from  the  religious  how  often  their  regretted 
Mother  had  spoken  to  them  of  her  "  dear  Aloysia  "  in  con- 
nection with  her  Louisiana  Mission. 

We  find  a  record  of  this  visit  in  the  annals  of  the  Trinita : 

"  The  meeting  with  our  American  Mothers  was  a  strik- 
ing example  of  the  beautiful  spirit  of  union  which  exists 
among  the  members  of  our  loved  Society.  How  close  are 
the  ties  which  bind  us  even  when  farthest  separated  and 
how  easily  we  become  acquainted  when  we  meet." 

At  the  Convent  of  Santa  Rufina,  Mother  Hardey  had  the 
pleasure  of  making  the  acquaintance  of  Mother  Lehon,  who 
became  the  third  Superior  General  of  the  Society.  In  con- 
nection with  this  meeting  Mother  Lehon  kept  the  remem- 
brance of  having  received  from  Mother  Hardey  the  first 
steel  pen  she  had  ever  seen,  as  this  modern  invention  had 
not  yet  usurped  the  place  of  the  time  honored  quill. 

It  was  well  known  in  Rome  that  the  object  of  the  ap- 
proaching Council  was  to  settle  the  question  of  the  Decrees 
of  1839.  In  this  important  matter  Rev.  Father  Rosaven, 
Assistant  General  of  the  Jesuits,  took  very  special  interest, 
and  he  was  anxious  to  know  the  sentiments  of  the  American 
Mother.  In  an  interview  with  Mother  Hardey  he  inquired 
if  she  knew  for  what  purpose  she  had  been  called  to  Rome. 
"  Yes,  Reverend  Father,"  she  replied,  "  I  have  come  to 
obey."  "On  which  side  are  you?"  he  continued,  referring 
to  Mother  Barat  and  the  party  opposed  to  her  views.  "  On 

86 


VISIT  TO  ROME 

the  side  of  authority,"  was  Mother  Hardey's  quick  rejoinder, 
and  she  spoke  truly;  from  the  beginning  to  the  end  of  her 
long  career  she  was  always  to  be  found  on  the  "  side  of 
authority ! " 

At  this  particular  epoch,  her  adhesion  to  the  first  author- 
ity was  all  the  more  remarkable  as  it  placed  her  in  direct 
opposition  to  Mother  Galitzin,  who  had  been  the  chief 
author  and  promoter  of  the  objectionable  Decrees,  but  her 
affection  for  the  Mother  Provincial  gave  way  before  that 
strong  principle  of  obedience  which  she  maintained  in  all 
its  integrity  to  the  end  of  her  days. 

On  the  i6th  of  July  Mothers  Galitzin  and  Hardey  left 
Rome  for  Lyons,  where  Mother  Barat  was  awaiting  the 
members  of  the  Council  at  the  Convent  of  La  Ferrandiere. 
It  was  a  memorable  event  for  Mother  Hardey.  For  the  first 
time  she  found  herself  in  presence  of  the  Mother  General. 
The  latter  was  so  surprised  at  her  youthful  appearance  that 
she  exclaimed :  "  How  young  she  is !  "  "  Yes,  Reverend 
Mother,"  replied  Mother  Galitzin,  "  but  that  is  a  fault  which 
she  will  correct  every  day." 

Mother  Barat  had  hoped  for  great  results  from  the  Coun- 
cil of  Lyons.  But  when  all  the  members  were  assembled,  an 
unforeseen  difficulty  obliged  the  Convocation  to  adjourn. 

Monseigneur  Affre,  Archbishop  of  Paris,  claiming  author- 
ity over  the  Society  of  the  Sacred  Heart,  condemned  as 
irregular  any  meeting  of  the  Council  elsewhere  than  at  the 
Mother  House  in  Paris,  and  notified  all  the  Bishops  in 
France  who  had  convents  of  the  Society  in  their  dioceses, 
of  his  opposition  to  the  meeting  in  Lyons,  as  well  as  to  the 
Decrees  of  1839.  Twenty-two  Bishops  gave  their  adhesion 
to  his  protests. 

Having  tried  in  vain  to  propitiate  His  Grace,  the  Mother 
General  was  forced  once  more  to  appeal  to  the  Sovereign 
Pontiff.  A  commission,  consisting  of  eight  Cardinals,  was 
appointed  by  Gregory  XVI.  to  inquire  into  this  urgent  ques- 
tion, and  in  the  meantime  the  opening  of  the  Council  was 

87 


MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

deferred.  Mother  Barat  proposed  to  the  councillors  to  enter 
into  retreat.  "  We  must  lift  up  our  hands  to  God,  who  is 
our  Hope,"  she  said,  "  for  in  man  we  have  none !  "  She  re- 
paired with  her  companions  to  the  Convent  of  "  Les 
Anglais,"  situated  on  the  heights  of  Fourvieres. 

Father  Barelle,  S.J.,  a  man  of  eminent  sanctity  and  elo- 
quence, gave  the  spiritual  exercises.  He  seemed  to  be  di- 
vinely inspired.  "  This  retreat,"  writes  Monseigneur  Bau- 
nard,  "  in  the  midst  of  hot  contests  and  sharp  trials,  was  like 
a  fountain  in  the  desert."  Mother  Barat  afterwards  de- 
clared she  had  never  heard  anything  like  it. 

The  effect  was  an  abundance  of  light  for  all,  and  a  closer 
union  of  hearts,  even  while  minds  were  divided  on  the  ques- 
tions at  issue. 

Mother  Hardey's  share  in  the  blessings  of  this  retreat 
was  abundant  and  lasting,  but  even  during  it  trials  were  not 
wanting  to  purify  her  virtues.  She  was  charged  with  the 
care  of  the  altar,  a  privilege  she  greatly  appreciated.  One 
morning,  however,  she  had  the  misfortune  to  miscalculate 
the  number  of  Hosts  for  consecration,  and  the  priest  dis- 
tributed all  the  particles  at  Holy  Communion,  forgetting 
there  was  no  reserved  Host  in  the  Tabernacle. 

It  is  easy  to  appreciate  Mother  Hardey's  feelings  when 
she  realized  what  had  happened.  But  her  own  grief  was  as 
nothing  compared  to  that  of  Mother  Barat  on  learning  that 
they  were  to  live  a  whole  day  without  the  Blessed  Sacra- 
ment. Mother  Hardey  was  terror  stricken  to  see  this  ven- 
erated Mother  fall  on  her  knees  and  with  hands  upraised  to 
Heaven  exclaim,  "  O  Lord  1  Have  our  sins  forced  Thee  also 
to  abandon  us?"  Tears  and  sobs  choked  the  utterance  of 
the  heart-broken  superior,  who  mourned  all  day  and  would 
not  be  comforted  for  the  loss  of  her  Eucharistic  Lord. 
Mother  Hardey's  own  anguish  of  soul  can  be  more  readily 
imagined  than  described. 

On  another  occasion  she  broke  one  of  the  only  pair  of 
altar  vases  they  had  in  the  house.  This  time  Mother  Barat 

88 


VISIT  TO  ROME 

only  smiled,  telling  her  to  confide  her  hands  to  the  care  of 
her  good  angel,  that  they  might  be  less  destructive. 
Humiliations  such  as  these  were  keenly  felt  by  Mother  Har- 
dey,  who  often  related  them  in  after  years  for  the  purpose  of 
consoling  her  daughters  in  similar  trials. 

Before  the  close  of  the  retreat  Mother  Galitzin  felt  in- 
spired to  offer  herself  to  God  as  a  victim  for  the  welfare  of 
the  Society.  Her  impulsive  nature  and  arbitrary  conduct 
had  been  the  cause  of  great  suffering  to  Mother  Barat,  but 
her  generosity  was  now  to  repair  the  errors  of  the  past. 
The  sacrifice  so  heroically  made  was  sanctioned  by  Mother 
Barat  and  Father  Barelle,  and  courageously  signed  by  the 
hand  of  her  who  thus  pledged  herself  to  become  a  holocaust 
of  reparation. 

In  the  month  of  August  a  duplicate  Brief  was  issued  in 
Rome  for  the  Cardinal  Protector  and  Monseigneur  Affre,  in- 
forming the  latter  that  his  office  of  Archbishop  of  Paris  gave 
him  no  special  rights  or  jurisdiction  over  the  whole  Society 
of  the  Sacred  Heart. 

At  this  juncture  a  new  complication  arose.  A  protest  on 
the  part  of  the  French  Government  threatened  the  Society 
with  destruction,  if  certain  provisions  of  the  new  Decrees 
should  be  made  to  supersede  the  Statutes  approved  by  the 
State  in  1827,  in  which  Paris  was  named  as  the  residence 
of  the  Mother  General.  The  transference  of  her  residence 
to  Rome  as  decided  in  the  new  Decrees  was  looked  upon  as 
a  violation  of  the  Statutes,  and  the  confiscation  of  the  prop- 
erty of  the  Society  was  one  of  the  penalties  threatened. 

Under  these  apprehensions  the  Council  adjourned  its 
sittings  to  an  indefinite  time,  and  the  members  dispersed  to 
their  respective  homes.  The  Superior  General  left  Lyons 
for  Paris  on  the  Qth  of  November  and  the  decision  of  the 
momentous  question  was  again  referred  to  the  Holy  See. 

During  these  troubled  days  Mother  Hardey  was  silently 
gaining  light  and  strength  for  future  needs.  She  had  known 
but  little  of  that  repose  found  apart  from  the  busy  sphere 

89 


MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

of  active  labors,  hence  her  sojourn  near  the  saintly  Foun- 
dress and  the  example  of  virtues  carried  to  heroism  which 
.she  witnessed  around  her  formed  an  epoch  in  her  own 
spiritual  life.  Moreover,  Father  Barelle  understood  and 
appreciated  the  grand  capabilities  of  her  strong  character,  as 
we  learn  from  his  letters  of  direction,  extracts  from  which 
we  shall  give  later. 

On  leaving  "  Les  Anglais,"  Mother  Hardey  spent  some 
weeks  at  La  Ferrandiere.  In  presenting  her  to  the  novices, 
Mother  Galitzin  made  an  eloquent  appeal  to  their  mission- 
ary spirit,  pointing  to  America  as  a  broad  field  for  the  ex- 
ercise of  their  Apostolic  zeal.  Madame  Bullion,  one  of  the 
novices,  longed  to  go  to  the  foreign  Missions,  so  she  sought 
opportunities  to  speak  to  the  American  Mother. 

"  During  the  serious  illness  of  Mother  Galitzin,"  she 
writes :  "  it  was  my  privilege  to  prepare  the  little  altar  in 
her  room  when  Holy  Communion  was  brought  to  her,  and 
as  I  passed  to  and  fro  I  cast  many  a  glance  at  Mother  Har- 
dey, who  occupied  the  room  adjoining.  The  very  sight  of 
her  made  me  think  of  God  and  of  our  Holy  Rule.  She  was 
usually  seated  at  her  desk  writing.  Once  I  ventured  to 
enter  and  whisper, '  Mother,  will  you  pray  that  I  may  be  one 
of  your  daughters  in  America?  '  She  said  not  a  word,  but 
gave  assent  by  a  gentle  inclination  of  the  head  and  a 
gracious  smile.  Her  fidelity  to  silence  impressed  me  so 
forcibly  that  I  never  forgot  it." 

Before  returning  to  America  Mother  Hardey  had  the 
pleasure  of  visiting  several  convents  in  France  and  Bel- 
gium, and  of  making  the  acquaintance  of  many  of  Mother 
Barat's  first  daughters  in  the  early  days  of  the  Society. 

She  sailed  from  Havre  on  the  I7th  of  October,  with  Mes- 
dames  Cauche  and  Cruice,  Miss  Regina  Decailly,  a  postu- 
lant, and  Madame  Bullion,  the  novice  already  mentioned. 
Mother  Galitzin,  who  had  offered  to  return  to  America, 
was  unable  to  leave  on  account  of  serious  illness,  so  Mother 
Hardey  was  appointed  Superior  of  the  Convent  in  New 

York. 

90 


VISIT  TO  ROME 

Among  their  fellow  passengers  on  board  The  Lutica 
were  five  Sisters  of  the  Good  Shepherd,  who  were  going  to 
Louisville,  Kentucky,  to  make  the  first  foundation  of  their 
Order  in  America.  On  arriving  in  New  York,  Mother  Har- 
dey  invited  the  Sisters  to  rest  some  days  at  the  Houston 
Street  Convent,  and  as  their  religious  habit  had  attracted 
much  unpleasant  notice  on  landing,  she  thoughtfully  pro- 
vided them  with  secular  costumes  for  the  remainder  of  the 
journey. 

After  a  few  weeks  passed  in  the  midst  of  her  own  happy 
family,  she  conducted  Mothers  Cauche  and  Cruice  to  Mc- 
Sherrystown,  in  Pennsylvania,  where  a  convent  had  been 
founded  previous  to  her  departure  for  France.  The  Noviti- 
ate at  Florissant  had  been  long  in  a  languishing  state,  so 
Mother  Galitzin,  with  Mother  Barat's  permission,  trans- 
ferred the  novices  to  McSherrystown,  under  the  direction 
of  Mother  de  Kersaint. 

Mother  Hardey  found  on  her  arrival  a  fervent  band  of 
novices,  a  flourishing  free  school  and  an  Academy  number- 
ing sixty  pupils,  many  of  whom  belonged  to  the  best  families 
of  Philadelphia  and  Baltimore.  In  fact  every  child  in  the 
Conewago  Valley  was  enjoying  the  benefits  of  the  religious 
training  given  by  the  nuns,  who  in  turn  received  every 
spiritual  aid  from  their  kind  benefactor,  Rev.  Father  Leken, 
and  his  Jesuit  colleagues  in  the  Conewago  Mission. 

Mother  Hardey  installed  Mother  Cruice  as  Superior,  and 
to  the  great  regret  of  all  McSherrystown,  Mother  de  Ker- 
saint bade  them  adieu  to  become  the  pioneer  of  the  Sacred 
Heart  amid  the  snows  of  Canada.  Bishop  Bourget  of 
Montreal,  having  obtained  the  promise  of  Mother  Barat  of 
establishing  a  house  of  her  Institute  in  his  diocese,  Mother 
Hardey's  next  care  was  to  send  thither  a  colony  of  her 
daughters. 

Mesdames  Bathilde  Sallion,  de  Kersaint,  Eveline 
Leveque  and  Sister  Battandier  left  New  York  on  the  nth  of 
December,  with  the  hope  of  reaching  Montreal  before  the 


MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

close  of  navigation.  When  only  a  few  miles  up  the  Hudson 
the  cold  became  so  intense  that  the  course  of  the  steamer 
was  stopped  by  the  fast  forming  ice,  and  the  captain  re- 
solved to  return  to  New  York.  He  offered  to  land  any  of 
the  passengers  who  wished  to  continue  their  journey,  but 
with  two  or  three  exceptions  all  preferred  to  return  to  the 
city.  The  four  religious  hesitated,  but  after  a  few  moments 
reflection  Madame  de  Kersaint  uttered  these  memorable 
words :  "  We  were  told  to  go,  but  we  were  not  told  to  re- 
turn. Let  us  advance  like  the  Holy  Family  in  the  name  of 
obedience,  and  perhaps  we  shall  find  a  shelter."  Encour- 
aged by  this  brief  exhortation,  the  religious  determined  to 
go  ashore. 

The  country  lay  hidden  beneath  a  heavy  snow  and  the 
roads  were  almost  impassable,  yet,  putting  their  trust  in 
God,  they  travelled  on,  until  worn  out  with  fatigue  they 
reached  an  inn,  where  they  asked  for  lodging  for  the  night. 
Here  they  were  told  "  there  was  no  room  for  them,"  but  they 
were  permitted  to  enter,  however,  though  obliged  to  sit  up 
all  night.  The  next  morning  they  started  on  their  journey 
in  a  stage  coach,  which  afforded  slight  protection  from  the 
inclemency  of  the  weather. 

At  length,  on  the  i/th  of  the  month,  they  reached  "  La 
Prairie,"  opposite  Montreal,  and  had  the  happiness  of  hear- 
ing Mass  and  receiving  Holy  Communion. 

As  the  St.  Lawrence  was  partially  frozen  the  boatmen 
refused  to  row  them  over,  it  being  forbidden  for  women  to 
cross  the  river  at  that  season;  but  the  men  relented,  how- 
ever, and  while  the  religious  invoked  aloud  the  assistance  of 
our  Lady  of  Good  Help,  whose  church  was  in  sight,  the 
crossing  was  effected,  if  not  without  danger,  at  least  with- 
out accident. 

On  arriving  in  Montreal  the  nuns  were  cordially  wel- 
comed by  Bishop  Bourget,  who  secured  hospitality  for 
them  in  the  Convent  of  the  Congregation  Nuns,  where  they 
spent  the  Feast  of  Christmas.  The  following  day  they 

92 


VISIT  TO  ROME 

started  for  their  new  home  at  St.  Jacques  de  1'Achigan, 
twelve  miles  from  Montreal,  where  a  novel  reception 
awaited  them. 

Monsieur  Pare,  the  parish  priest,  vested  in  surplice  and 
stole,  stood  at  the  Church  door  to  offer  them  a  formal  greet- 
ing. The  next  day,  under  the  auspices  of  St.  John  the 
Evangelist,  they  were  solemnly  installed  in  their  new  abode. 
The  Vicar  General  of  the  diocese  read  a  letter  from  the 
Bishop,  eulogizing  the  Society  of  the  Sacred  Heart,  and  con- 
gratulating Monsieur  Pare  on  his  good  fortune  in  securing 
a  house  of  the  Institute  for  his  parish.  After  the  chanting 
of  the  Veni  Creator  and  the  celebration  of  the  Holy  Sacri- 
fice, the  clergy  advanced  in  procession  to  the  convent,  and 
blessed  the  house  in  presence  of  the  whole  congregation 
assembled  outside.  That  same  day  the  generous  Cure 
deeded  to  the  religious  365  acres  of  land  and  the  building, 
which  was  sufficiently  large  to  accommodate  the  commu- 
nity and  fifty  pupils.  He  continued  to  be  a  father  and  friend 
to  them  as  long  as  they  remained  under  his  protection. 

Mother  Hardey  was  meanwhile  actively  engaged  in  pro- 
moting the  welfare  of  the  Houston  Street  Convent. 
She  organized  the  Congregation  of  the  Children  of  Mary, 
whose  members  devoted  themselves  to  visiting  the  poor  in 
their  homes  and  the  teaching  of  the  Catechism  in  the  Sun- 
day Schools. 

She  applied  herself  with  her  usual  energy  and  zeal  to 
instil  into  the  hearts  of  her  pupils  a  love  for  God  and  for 
the  Church.  She  gave  religious  instruction  every  morning 
to  the  day  scholars,  who  deeply  appreciated  her  precious 
teaching.  She  likewise  reserved  for  herself  the  task  of  pre- 
paring the  little  First  Communicants,  and  as  the  great  day 
drew  near  she  gave  herself  to  the  happy  band  with  entire 
devotedness,  seeking  to  make  them  familiar  with  the  life  of 
Him  whowasabout  to  become  the  nourishment  of  their  souls. 

The  history  of  the  Passion  of  Our  Lord  was  her  usual 
theme  for  the  preparatory  retreat. 

93 


MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

On  one  occasion  the  child  who  was  reading  remarked,  as 
she  concluded  the  Gospel  narrative:  "  Mother,  that  is  all!  " 
Apparently  absorbed  in  the  sublime  recital,  Mother  Hardey 
replied,  "  Read  it  again,  my  child,  I  could  listen  to  the  his- 
tory of  the  Passion  all  my  life."  What  seemed  only  a  mo- 
mentary act  of  devotion  produced  a  profound  impression. 
Over  forty  years  later  this  child,  as  a  Professed  Religious  of 
the  Sacred  Heart  and  Mistress  of  the  Manhattanville 
Noviceship,  declared  that  her  love  for  the  Passion  dated 
from  that  retreat. 

In  the  Annals  of  Houston  Street  we  find  frequent  men- 
tion of  the  visits  of  Bishop  Hughes.  On  the  ist  of  May, 
1843,  he  officiated  at  the  religious  clothing  of  Miss  Mar- 
garet Donnelly,  one  of  the  first  pupils  of  the  Academy.  A 
few  weeks  later,  on  his  return  from  the  Council  of  Balti- 
more, accompanied  by  nine  other  Bishops,  he  assisted  at  an 
entertainment  given  by  the  pupils. 

On  the  5th  of  June  His  Lordship  came  to  bid  adieu  to 
the  religious  and  pupils  before  sailing  for  Europe,  and  "  on 
the  very  day  of  his  arrival,"  writes  the  faithful  annalist,  "  he 
gave  us  new  proof  of  his  paternal  goodness  by  coming  with 
Bishop  Chabrat  and  Father  Starrs  to  announce  his  return. 

In  the  Spring  of  1843  Mother  Hardey  received  a  letter 
from  Mother  Barat,  announcing  that  the  Holy  Father  had 
ratified  the  decision  of  the  Congregation  of  Cardinals,  in 
accordance  with  which  the  Decrees  of  1839  were  to  be  sup- 
pressed and  the  Constitutions,  approved  by  Leo  XII.,  to 
remain  intact.  Referring  to  the  difficulties  likely  to  arise 
from  this  decision,  she  tells  Mother  Hardey  that  she  has  en- 
tire confidence  in  her  delicate  tact  and  religious  spirit  to 
lead  all  to  accept  with  loving  hearts  the  final  word  of  the 
Vicar  of  Christ.  Then,  having  always  in  view  the  personal 
holiness  of  her  daughter,  Mother  Barat  adds :  "  I  cannot 
recommend  to  you  too  earnestly,  my  dear  Aloysia,  to  pre- 
serve the  fruits  of  your  retreat  at '  Les  Anglais,'  and  to  labor 
each  day  to  become  more  interior  and  humble.  It  is  my  ex- 

94 


VISIT  TO  ROME 

perience  that  we  produce  fruit  in  souls,  only  in  proportion 
to  our  union  with  the  Source  of  Grace,  .  .  .  hence  there 
should  be  constant  fidelity  and  generosity  in  laboring  to  be- 
come perfect  religious.  It  is  only  souls,  dead  to  themselves, 
that  can  produce  fruit  in  your  country." 

That  same  letter  brought  the  glad  tidings  of  the  return 
to  America  of  Mother  Galitzin,  whose  great  qualities 
Mother  Hardey  truly  loved  and  appreciated.  She  saw  be- 
neath the  exterior  that  seemed  to  reflect  the  absolutism  of 
the  Russian  character  a  greatness  of  soul,  capable  of  heroic 
virtue,  and  a  singleness  of  purpose  which  had  only  the  glory 
of  God  in  view. 

Mother  Galitzin  arrived  in  New  York  July  i6th,  and 
after  a  brief  stay  there  visited  the  new  foundations  in  Mc- 
Sherrystown  and  Canada.  She  decided  to  remove  the 
novices  from  McSherrystown  in  order  to  place  them  under 
the  personal  direction  of  Mother  Hardey. 

Having  provided  in  various  ways  for  the  welfare  of  the 
eastern  communities,  she  went  to  St.  Louis,  and  in  the 
month  of  November  extended  her  tour  to  St.  Michael's. 
This  was  to  be  her  last  journey.  The  Divine  Spouse  was  to 
put  the  seal  of  His  approval  upon  the  act  of  self-oblation 
which  she  had  made  for  the  welfare  of  the  Society  during 
her  retreat  at  "  Les  Anglais." 

Finding  that  the  yellow  fever  threatened  to  reap  a  har- 
vest at  St.  Michael's,  she  fearlessly  visited  those  who  had 
been  attacked  by  the  dread  disease.  It  was  in  vain  that  she 
was  warned  of  the  danger. 

She  showed  symptoms  of  the  contagion  the  1st  of  De- 
cember, and  in  a  few  days  all  hope  of  recovery  was  aban- 
doned, but  her  strength  of  character  became  more  apparent 
in  the  face  of  death.  She  asked  the  physician  in  attendance 
whether  she  was  going  to  die.  As  his  answer  was  evasive, 
she  quickly  added :  "  I  am  not  afraid  of  death.  I  even  desire 
it,  if  such  be  the  will  of  God." 

She  seems  to  have  had  a  presentiment  of  her  approaching 

95 


MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

end,  in  consequence  of  a  dream  which  she  had  at  La  Fer- 
randier  the  previous  year,  and  which  she  mentioned  to 
Mother  Hardey  and  others  at  the  time.  Three  coffins  sym- 
metrically arranged  were  set  before  her.  In  the  first  she 
saw  the  body  of  her  eldest  brother,  the  second  contained 
the  form  of  her  loved  mother,  while  in  the  third  she  recog- 
nized her  own  mortal  remains. 

This  dream  became  in  part  a  reality  when,  on  the  28th 
of  October,  1843,  almost  at  the  same  hour  in  which  her 
mother  yielded  up  her  soul  to  God  in  Saint  Petersburg,  her 
brother  died  in  Paris,  after  having  embraced  the  Catholic 
faith.  The  dream  was  fully  verified  that  same  year  on  the 
eve  of  the  Feast  of  the  Immaculate  Conception  when,  after 
a  distressing  agony,  she  herself  went  to  the  possession  of 
the  eternal  joys  promised  by  Him  whom  she  had  so  ardently 
loved  and  so  courageously  served. 

The  news  of  Mother  Galitzin's  death  was  a  terrible 
shock  to  Mother  Hardey.  She  had  lost  a  friend  and  guide, 
and  it  was  with  a  heart  weighed  down  with  grief  that  she 
wrote  these  lines  to  Mother  Barat: 

"  Last  evening  I  received  your  precious  letter  of  January 
25th.  It  would  be  impossible  to  tell  you  what  my  heart  ex- 
perienced on  seeing  your  handwriting.  How  good  you  are, 
my  venerated  Mother,  but  what  need  I  had  of  consolation. 

"  I  cannot  describe  the  state  of  grief  in  which  the  death 
of  Mother  Galitzin  had  left  me.  Added  to  it,  our  terrible 
anxiety  in  regard  to  your  illness.  To  be  at  such  a  distance, 
when  letters  take  an  age  to  reach  us,  is  a  trial  more  easily 
felt  than  described.  While  sending  us  one  heavy  cross,  God 
has  spared  us  another,  whose  weight  would  have  over- 
whelmed us.  May  He  be  a  thousand  times  blessed  for  hav- 
ing preserved  our  first  Mother  to  us,  and  may  we,  by  our 
fidelity,  obtain  for  you  the  health  you  need  so  much." 

A  few  months  later  Mother  Barat  announced  to  her 
American  daughters  the  nomination  of  Mother  Hardey  as 
provincial  of  the  houses  of  the  Eastern  States  and  Canada. 

96 


VISIT  TO  ROME 

The  news  was  received  with  joy  by  Mother  Hardey's 
daughters,  but  far  different  were  the  feelings  of  their 
Mother,  as  we  learn  from  her  letter  to  Mother  Barat : 

"  NEW  YORK,  10  April,  1844. 
"Mv  VERY  REVEREND  MOTHER  : 

"  Your  letter  of  March  4th  has  overwhelmed  me !  I  do 
not  know  how  to  govern  this  little  family;  every  day  I 
tremble  at  the  thought  of  the  account  which  I  must  render 
of  it  to  Almighty  God,  and  now  you  have  added  yet  more  to 
my  obligations.  O  my  venerated  Mother,  what  will  become 
of  me !  .  .  . 

"  Happily  my  appointment  is  only  par  interim,  for  the 
Council  of  1845  is  not  far  distant  and  meanwhile  I  shall  have 
Mother  X.  to  advise  me." 

This  "  interim,"  the  thought  of  which  consoled  her,  was 
to  last  well  nigh  thirty  years ! 

In  casting  a  retrospective  glance  over  Mother  Hardey's 
career,  we  can  readily  see  how  all  the  circumstances  of  her 
life  had  gradually  prepared  her  for  the  important  works  she 
was  destined  to  accomplish. 

As  a  child,  she  had  acquired  those  attractive  domestic 
virtues  which  when  transferred  to  the  cloister  contribute 
to  make  of  it  a  paradise  on  earth.  During  the  early  years 
of  her  religious  life  she  had  been  trained  in  the  spirit  of  the 
Society  by  heroic  guides,  deeply  imbued  with  its  essence  of 
strength  and  holiness.  She  had  been  assigned  to  all  the  im- 
portant offices,  which  had  contributed  to  develop  in  her  the 
quality  of  prudence  to  a  great  degree,  endowing  her  soon 
with  a  vast  fund  of  experience.  Beginning  as  Mistress  in 
the  school,  she  successively  became  Mistress  General,  Treas- 
urer, Assistant,  Mistress  of  Novices,  and  Superior,  and  amid 
the  multiplied  occupations  thus  entailed  her  natural  endow- 
ments had  gained  strength,  while  her  supernatural  gifts  had 
attained  a  rare  maturity. 

In  the  study  of  her  life  we  have  seen  Divine  Providence 

7  97 


MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

uniting  the  elements  necessary  to  form  a  character,  rounded 
and  complete,  and  therefore  capable  of  great  undertakings 
and  insuring  great  results.  We  do  not  claim,  however,  that 
she  had  then  reached  the  perfection  which  crowned  her  later 
>ears.  She  was,  so  to  speak,  but  expanding  before  the  eye 
of  God,  growing  upward  in  the  shadow  as  in  the  sunshine  of 
His  love,  and  striking  deeper  roots  in  the  knowledge  of  her 
own  weakness  and  nothingness. 

Mother  Barat,  as  we  see  from  her  letters,  watched  un- 
ceasingly over  the  spiritual  advancement  of  her  daughter, 
encouraging  and  enlightening  her,  but  reproving  unspar- 
ingly the  least  appearance  of  a  fault,  either  in  her  personal 
conduct  or  government. 

Father  Barelle  likewise  followed  her  progress  with  the 
zeal  of  a  true  apostle.  On  one  occasion  he  writes :  "  I  thank 
God,  my  daughter,  for  the  improvement  which  I  find  in  your 
spiritual  life,  and  I  pray  that  He  may  enable  you  to  under- 
stand the  necessity  of  belonging  wholly  to  Him.  Once  you 
have  grasped  that  truth,  your  heart  will  be  filled  with  an 
ardent  desire  of  accomplishing  His  Holy  Will.  I  have  read 
your  daily  regulation,  and  I  give  it  my  full  sanction.  .  .  . 
Desire  to  go  to  your  spiritual  exercises  with  as  much  avidity 
as  epicures  crave  the  choicest  viands.  They  are  impelled  by 
the  cravings  of  our  animal  nature,  let  us  imitate  their  eager- 
ness by  a  hunger  and  thirst  for  God  and  our  sanctification. 
Try  to  correct  the  coldness  of  your  manner,  keeping  in  mind 
the  lesson  of  the  Divine  Master,  '  Learn  of  Me  that  I  am 
meek  and  humble  of  Heart,'  thus  will  you  mould  your  char- 
acter upon  the  Model  which  can  alone  render  you  pleasing 
to  God  and  agreeable  to  those  around  you." 

Later  he  gave  her  advice  in  regard  to  her  spiritual  read- 
ing and  meditation.  "  I  can  see,"  he  writes,  "  that  spiritual 
help  is  wanting  to  you,  but  when  you  feel  the  need  of  coun- 
sel you  will  always  find  it  in  the  Holy  Eucharist  and  in  the 
wounds  of  the  Crucified.  Let  your  thoughts,  your  prayers 
and  your  hopes  be  directed  thither ! " 

98 


VISIT  TO  ROME 

We  have  a  glimpse  of  Mother  Hardey's  spiritual  portrait 
in  these  lines  to  Mother  Barat. 

"  I  have  given  you  full  details  of  all  the  houses,  permit 
me  now  to  add  a  few  lines  about  myself. 

"  I  made  my  annual  retreat  at  the  close  of  that  of  the 
community.  I  began  it  with  the  desire  to  gain  all  possible 
good  from  it,  and  the  determination  to  seek  God  alone,  since 
He  was  to  be  my  only  guide  and  director.  After  my  review 
of  the  past  two  years,  I  felt  urged  to  ask  Father  Lafont  per- 
mission to  make  a  vow  never  to  commit  a  deliberate  fault. 
He  refused  at  first,  but  at  present  he  gives  me  permission 
for  a  fortnight  at  a  time.  I  know  not  whether  I  acted  wise- 
ly, yet  I  felt  I  was  responding  to  the  inspiration  of  grace. 
It  cost  me  much  to  make  the  request,  but  I  am  amply  re- 
paid by  the  help  which  it  gives  me  to  avoid  a  great  number 
of  faults.  I  send  you  my  resolutions  that  you  may  bless 
them  and  add  anything  you  may  find  lacking  in  them." 

Father  Lafont  was  a  zealous  priest  of  the  Order  of 
Mercy,  who  accomplished  a  great  work  among  the  French 
Catholics  in  New  York.  He  made  his  religious  profession 
in  the  Houston  Street  chapel,  Bishop  Hughes  receiving  his 
vows  in  the  presence  of  the  community.  He  was  appointed 
confessor  of  the  nuns  and  the  annals  of  the  convent  men- 
tion with  gratitude  and  appreciation  his  weekly  conferences 
on  the  obligations  and  perfections  of  the  religious  life. 

Mother  Hardey  secured  for  the  pupils  a  course  of  in- 
structions in  Christian  Doctrine  from  Rev.  Father  Varela, 
one  of  the  ablest  defenders  of  Catholic  Faith  in  New  York. 
He  is  frequently  mentioned  as  officiating  in  the  Convent 
chapel  at  the  reception  of  converts  into  the  Church.  Other 
names  that  have  passed  into  history  appear  on  the  pages  of 
these  annals,  among  them  that  of  the  distinguished  convert, 
Rev.  James  Roosevelt  Bayley,  later  Archbishop  of  Balti- 
more, who  celebrated  his  first  Mass  in  the  Convent  chapel 
on  the  3d  of  March,  1844. 

The  Catholic  Church  had  greatly  increased  in  the  United 

99 


MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

States  during  the  first  half  of  the  nineteenth  century.  New 
diocesan  sees  had  been  erected  to  provide  shepherds  for 
the  Fold  of  Christ,  and  each  successive  year,  with  its  labors 
and  sorrows,  brought  its  fruits  and  joys.  A  Catholic  press 
and  Catholic  literature  had  passed  successfully  through 
their  first  struggles  for  existence,  and  the  progress  of  ele- 
mentary education  proved  that  our  parochial  schools  were 
being  established  upon  a  solid  and  permanent  basis.  In 
spite  of  losses,  poverty,  persecutions,  calumny  and  con- 
tempt, the  Church  was  becoming  a  great  factor  in  the 
nation. 

Suddenly  a  fresh  persecution  broke  out,  originating  ap- 
parently in  the  position  assumed  by  the  Catholic  body  in 
reference  to  certain  regulations  of  the  public  schools.  It 
does  not,  however,  enter  into  our  province  to  review  the 
shameful  page  of  our  national  history,  which  recalls  the  ex- 
cesses of  the  so-called  "  Native  American  Party."  The  gen- 
eral reader  is  familiar  with  the  tragic  events  which  occurred 
in  Philadelphia  in  1844,  when  churches,  hospitals  and  even 
the  private  dwellings  of  many  Catholic  citizens  were  burned 
by  a  frenzied  mob  acting  under  the  inspiration  of  the 
"  Know  Nething,"  or  "  Native  American  Party."  It  was 
only  after  an  encounter  between  the  rioters  and  the  militia, 
under  General  Cadwalader,  that  peace  and  protection  were 
assured  to  the  Catholics. 

As  the  storm  burst  upon  them  so  unexpectedly,  there 
had  been  no  time  for  deliberation.  The  gentle  Bishop, 
Francis  Patrick  Kenrick,  counselled  patience,  "  thinking  it 
more  conformable,"  says  a  Catholic  writer,  "  to  the  spirit  of 
the  Gospel  to  bend  and  suffer  than  to  cause  additional  vio- 
lence and  bloodshed."  But  Bishop  Hughes  adopted  a  con- 
trary course.  Finding  that  the  waves  of  prejudice  were 
about  to  break  over  New  York,  he  inquired  of  the  civil  au- 
thorities whether  the  law  provided  for  compensation  in  the 
case  of  damage  done  by  rioters,  and  as  the  answer  was  in 
the  negative,  he  boldly  advised  his  flock  to  defend  their 

100 


VISIT  TO  ROME 

churches  and  their  property  with  their  lives.  "  In  doing 
so,"  he  said,  "  they  will  not  be  acting  against  the  law,  but 
for  the  law." 

Upon  receiving  an  anonymous  notice,  threatening  him 
with  assassination,  he  addressed  an  open  letter  to  James 
Harper,  the  Mayor,  a  "  Native  American,"  in  which  he  ar- 
raigned him  and  James  Gordon  Bennett  and  William  L. 
Stone  as  representatives  of  the  press,  at  the  bar  of  public 
opinion. 

"  Stand  forth,"  he  said,  "  and  meet  Bishop  Hughes !  But 
come  forward  in  no  quibbling  capacity.  Come  forth  as 
honest  men,  as  true  American  citizens,  with  truth  in  your 
hearts  and  candor  on  your  lips." 

This  challenge  produced  a  deep  impression  throughout 
the  country.  "  The  appeal  for  facts  and  evidence,  instead 
of  vague  charges,"  says  a  Catholic  historian,  "  told  on  the 
minds  of  all  honest  men  in  all  sections  of  the  country.  The 
vigor  and  firmness  of  the  Bishop  saved  New  York  from  a 
repetition  of  the  disgraceful  scenes  which  had  left  their 
stain  on  the  '  City  of  Brotherly  Love.'  " 

In  a  letter  dated  May  15,  1844,  Mother  Hardey  thus  de- 
scribes to  Mother  Barat  the  Philadelphia  riots. 
"Mv  VENERATED  MOTHER: 

"  I  would  have  sent  you  these  notes  in  the  beginning  of 
the  month  but  for  the  horrible  events  which  have  transpired 
in  Philadelphia,  and  which,  it  is  feared,  may  be  renewed 
here.  Many  Catholics  have  been  killed  and  several 
churches  destroyed.  The  city  is  under  martial  law  and  the 
churches  serve  as  barracks  for  the  soldiers.  Oh  !  how  much 
Our  Lord  has  been  outraged  and  insulted.  Yet  it  is  the  gen- 
eral opinion  that  the  result  will  be  for  the  greater  good  of 
religion. 

"  A  remarkable  occurrence  is  published  even  by  Protes- 
tant papers,  hostile  to  the  Church. 

"  St.  Augustine's,  the  oldest  church  in  Philadelphia, 
was  burned  by  the  rioters  and  everything  reduced  to  ashes, 

101 


MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

save  the  wall  behind  the  High  Altar,  which  remained  stand- 
ing ;  upon  it  was  painted  the  symbolic  Eye  of  God,  with  an 
inscription  in  gilt  letters,  '  The  Lord  Seeth.' 

"  The  fact  is  all  the  more  extraordinary,  that  while  the 
wall  was  blackened  by  the  flames,  the  devouring  element 
only  brought  out  in  bolder  relief  the  inscription  and  the  All- 
seeing  Eye. 

"  Peace  has  been  restored  in  Philadelphia  since  the  loth, 
but  fears  are  now  entertained  for  our  city.  Some  of  the  pa- 
rents have  withdrawn  their  children,  others  have  left  them 
for  our  greater  security,  for  several  nights  we  kept  our- 
selves in  readiness  to  leave  the  house  in  case  of  attack,  but 
so  far  the  excitement  has  not  broken  out  into  violence.  It 
is  the  general  opinion  that  danger  to  us  arises  only  from  our 
proximity  to  the  Cathedral  and  the  episcopal  residence,  as 
the  Bishop  is  the  special  object  of  hatred  to  the  enemies  of 
the  Church.  I  have  not  had  a  moment  of  fear,  for  it  seems 
to  me  that  Our  Lord  will  guard  us,  since  we  are  guarding 
Him.  During  those  nights,  when  we  were  apparently 
awaiting  death,  I  had  not  the  least  dread  of  it.  Whence 
comes  this  tranquillity?  I  am  in  fear  it  may  be  indifference, 
for  I  am  not  prepared  to  die." 

Mother  Hardey  then  alludes  to  the  solemn  celebration 
of  the  Month  of  May,  by  sermons  and  benedictions  of  the 
Blessed  Sacrament.  "  It  is  a  consoling  fact,"  she  adds, 
"  that  already  five  of  the  parishes  in  New  York  have  intro- 
duced these  beautiful  devotions  and  have  had  signal  proof 
of  the  graces  that  flow  from  heaven  upon  those  who  pay 
special  homage  to  the  Mother  of  God." 

In  this  same  letter  she  mentioned  her  desire  to  establish 
a  free  school  for  poor  children,  but  regrets  that  through 
motives  of  prudence  she  believes  it  advisable  to  postpone 
this  good  work  to  a  more  favorable  time. 


1 02 


CHAPTER  XI. 
TRANSFER   OF  THE   ACADEMY   TO   ASTORIA — PURCHASE   ot 

THE    LORILLARD   ESTATE — 1844-1847. 

In  the  Spring  of  1844  Bishop  Hughes  tried  to  secure  for 
the  Religious  of  the  Sacred  Heart  the  magnificent  estate  of 
Jacob  Lorillard  at  Manhattanville,  but  negotiations  having 
failed,  he  advised  the  purchase  of  a  temporary  residence  in 
Astoria. 

Mother  Hardey  writes  on  the  subject  to  Mother  Barat: 
"  Yesterday  I  went  with  Bishop  Hughes  to  visit  a  fine  prop- 
erty, situated  about  two  miles  from  his  seminary.  He 
wished  to  purchase  at  once,  but  I  begged  him  to  wait  until 
I  could  obtain  your  consent.  His  Lordship  says  it  is  an  ab- 
solute necessity  for  us  to  move  to  the  country  this  year,  but 
we  cannot  raise  money,  as  we  have  no  property.  He  de- 
sires me  to  say  that  if  you  could  borrow  money  in  Belgium, 
we  could  pay  the  interest  and  return  the  principal  later. 
We  cannot  do  more  than  vegetate  here  so  long  as  we  have 
to  pay  an  annual  rent  of  $2600.  Besides  the  health  of  the 
religious  suffers  greatly  in  the  Summer,  and  the  school  di- 
minishes one-fourth  from  the  first  of  May  to  the  first  of 
October." 

Mother  Barat  readily  consented  to  the  purchase  of  a 
country  residence  in  Astoria,  and  at  the  close  of  the  annual 
retreat,  given  by  Rev.  Father  Barbelin,  S.  J.,  Mother  Har- 
dey started  with  her  daughters  for  their  new  home.  She 
left  a  few  of  the  religious  in  the  city  until  the  following 
Spring,  when  she  closed  the  Academy  and  opened  a  day 
school  in  Bleecker  Street. 

It  is  pleasant  to  record  that  the  Houston  Street  convent 
was  purchased  by  the  Sisters  of  Mercy  in  1848,  and  be- 
came known  as  Saint  Catherine's  Convent,  or  Academy  of 

103 


MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

Our  Lady  of  Mercy.  That  was  subsequently  abandoned 
and  the  whole  neighborhood  is  now  given  over  to  business. 

"  Ravenswood,"  as  the  Astoria  property  was  called,  was 
a  commodious  dwelling  of  the  Colonial  style,  pleasantly  sit- 
uated between  the  East  River  and  Long  Island  Sound.  The 
grounds,  though  small,  presented  a  picturesque  variety  of 
natural  and  artificial  beauty,  while  a  thriving  garden  and 
orchard  furnished  vegetables  and  fruit  in  abundance. 

The  first  Mass  was  offered  by  the  parish  priest  on  the 
3rd  of  September,  1844,  and  on  the  following  Sunday,  Feast 
of  our  Lady's  Nativity,  he  invited  the  congregation  to  ac- 
company him  to  the  convent,  so  that  the  religious  might 
not  be  deprived  of  the  Holy  Sacrifice.  The  vestibule  was 
converted  into  a  temporary  chapel,  and  about  eleven 
o'clock  priest  and  people  arrived.  Clustered  around  the 
porch  and  out  upon  the  lawn,  these  good  people  assisted 
with  remarkable  devotion  at  the  Sacred  Mysteries.  It  was 
a  scene  never  to  be  forgotten. 

The  boarders  from  Houston  Street  arrived  the  next  day. 
They  were  delighted  with  their  new  surroundings  and  wel- 
comed with  joy  their  new  companions.  The  novices  were 
equally  pleased  with  their  little  Nazareth,  as  it  was  called. 
For  their  greater  seclusion,  and  to  promote  habits  of  silence 
and  prayer,  a  small  addition  to  the  main  building  was 
erected  for  their  use.  "  When  we  took  possession  of  it," 
writes  one  of  the  novices,  "  we  felt  as  if  we  had  entered  a 
palace.  Our  Mother  was  there  making  everything  suitable 
for  her  children.  Before  leaving  us  that  first  evening,  she 
gave  us  her  blessing  and  confided  us  to  the  care  of  Saint 
Michael.  Her  confidence  in  the  great  Archangel  was  not 
misplaced.  Some  weeks  later,  Madame  Dumont,  our  Mis- 
tress, called  suddenly  from  her  room,  left  a  lighted  candle 
on  her  desk.  A  wonderful  mark  of  the  Divine  protection 
awaited  her  return.  Her  bed  curtain  had  caught  fire  and 
was  totally  burned,  while  everything  else  in  the  room  re- 
mained untouched  by  the  flames.  We  attributed  this  strik- 

104 


THE  ACADEMY  AT  ASTORIA 

ing  preservation  to  the  strong  faith  with  which  Mother 
Hardey  had  appealed  to  the  protection  of  Saint  Michael  for 
us  and  our  little  frame  building." 

Shortly  after  this  event  Madame  Dumont  left  for 
France,  and  in  spite  of  her  numerous  occupations,  Mother 
Hardey  assumed  the  entire  charge  of  the  novices.  She 
taught  them  even  more  by  her  example  than  by  her  words. 
"  In  the  life  of  our  Mother,"  writes  one  of  the  novices,  "  we 
had  the  lesson  of  unselfishness  constantly  before  our  eyes. 
During  our  three  years  residence  at  Astoria,  she  never  had 
a  room  for  her  own  use.  Her  desk  was  placed  in  a  corner 
of  the  pupils'  dormitory,  and  there  she  spent  a  large  part  of 
her  day  writing  letters  and  attending  to  the  business  of  the 
house.  Her  bed  was  a  cot  which  was  carried  to  a  classroom 
at  night  and  removed  the  next  morning. 

"  When  the  weather  was  cold  she  used  to  go  up  to  the 
garret  where  her  daughters  slept,  to  assure  herself  that  they 
had  sufficient  covering  and  frequently  she  brought  up  hot 
bricks  for  those  who  suffered  from  cold  feet." 

Mother  Hardey's  instructions  to  the  novices  were  based 
upon  the  recommendations  of  the  Mother  General.  "  I  beg 
my  good  mother  Aloysia,"  writes  Mother  Barat,  "  to  exer- 
cise her  Novices  in  the  solid  virtues  of  the  Institute.  We 
cannot  ground  them  too  much  in  the  practice  of  humility, 
abnegation,  mortification  and  forgetfulness  of  self.  If  these 
virtues  are  not  familiar  to  them,  we  labor  in  vain.  Believe 
me,  it  is  better  to  have  fewer  in  number  and  better  reli- 
gious. Imperfect  Professed  do  more  harm  than  good.  Is 
not  this  your  experience  also,  dear  Mother?  Labor  then, 
my  daughter,  to  form  your  young  people  to  the  love  of 
Jesus  Christ  and  to  the  practice  of  humility.  Remember 
your  retreat  at  '  Les  Anglais/  and  try  to  imprint  that  type 
of  perfection  in  all  hearts.  Anything  else  is  only  froth, 
without  consistency  and  therefore  not  durable." 

Mother  Hardey  showed  the  same  maternal  interest  in 
the  welfare  of  the  pupils,  entering  into  all  their  joys  and 

105 


MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

sorrows,  but  never  permitting  a  grave  fault  to  pass  unno- 
ticed. She  governed  by  kindness,  tact  and  patience,  and 
she  was  accustomed  to  tell  her  daughters  that  in  the  forma- 
tion of  minds  and  hearts  gentleness  is  more  efficacious  than 
severity. 

As  the  school  increased  in  numbers,  the  pupils  devel- 
oped those  domestic  characteristics  which  are  precious  for 
them  in  after  life.  A  spirit  of  charity  was  manifested  by 
their  zeal  in  sewing  for  the  poor,  and  especially  for  the  or- 
phans. The  toil  of  nimble  fingers  and  the  fruits  of  generous 
sacrifices  were  always  presented  to  Mother  Hardey  on  her 
feast  day. 

We  find  recorded  in  the  Annals  on  one  Feast  of  St. 
Aloysius  the  offering  of  one  hundred  complete  outfits  for 
the  orphans  under  the  care  of  the  Sisters  of  Charity.  An 
artless  piety  seemed  to  preside  at  their  recreations.  They 
had  great  devotion  to  St.  Francis  Regis,  the  patron  of  the 
house,  and  they  appealed  to  his  intercession  in  every  need. 
One  day  in  the  late  autumn,  during  their  ramble  in  the 
orchard,  they  espied  a  solitary  apple  on  the  top  of  the  tree. 
They  tried  in  vain  to  dislodge  it,  then  they  invoked  St. 
Regis,  but  the  apple  remained  immovable.  The  next  day 
their  efforts  were  renewed  and  their  invocations  often 
repeated,  but  without  success.  At  last  one  little  girl  knelt 
down  and  addressed  a  fervent  prayer  to  their  holy  patron. 
A  moment  later  the  apple  fell  at  her  feet.  Joyfully,  she  pro- 
claimed the  glory  of  Saint  Regis.  "  But  why  did  he  not 
give  it  to  you  yesterday  when  you  prayed  to  him  ?  "  ques- 
tioned the  Mistress.  "  Oh,  Madame,"  replied  the  child,  "  it 
was  only  just  now  that  I  prayed  to  him  in  my  heart !  " 
Mother  Hardey  often  related  this  incident  and  never  failed 
to  remark  that  "  it  is  only  the  prayer  of  the  heart  that 
reaches  Heaven." 

In  the  early  part  of  December  Mother  Hardey  received 
the  painful  news  of  her  mother's  death,  which  occurred  on 
the  23d  of  November,  1844.  With  her  customary  self-for- 

106 


THE  ACADEMY  AT  ASTORIA 

getfulness  she  tried  to  hide  her  grief  from  those  around  her. 
One  of  her  daughters,  noticing  her  grave  countenance,  ven- 
tured to  ask  if  she  had  received  any  bad  news.  "  Yes,"  she 
answered,  "  I  have  heard  of  my  dear  mother's  death,  but  do 
not  mention  it  until  after  the  recreation,  as  it  would  sadden 
the  community." 

We  quote  the  following  tribute  to  Mrs.  Hardey's  worth 
from  the  pen  of  a  lifelong  friend:  "The  qualities  of  Mrs. 
Hardey  were  of  a  high  order,  and  her  example  was  a  rich 
inheritance  to  her  family  and  friends.  It  was  said  in  her 
obituary  notice  that  '  in  intellect  and  worth  she  towered 
above  others  of  her  sex.'  This  was  not  an  exaggeration.  In 
the  judgment  of  many  who  knew  her  well,  she  was  not 
equalled  even  by  her  gifted  daughter." 

The  autumn  of  1845  brought  another  severe  trial  to 
Mother  Hardey  in  the  death  of  Madame  Hogan,  her  com- 
panion from  St.  Michael's  to  the  New  York  foundation. 

Writing  to  Mother  Barat  of  her  visit  to  McSherrystown, 
she  says :  "  I  found  Mother  Boilevin  so  exhausted  that  I 
felt  obliged  to  give  her  the  help  of  another  mistress  in  the 
school.  Notwithstanding  our  dearth  of  subjects,  I  have 
sent  Madame  Decailly  to  McSherrystown,  and  have  prom- 
ised that  as  soon  as  Madame  Hogan  is  able  to  travel  she 
will  follow  her,  yet  it  is  almost  impossible  to  do  without 
these  two  good  sisters,  for  they  are  the  most  devoted  Mis- 
tresses in  the  school." 

This  letter  was  resumed  October  6th :  "  I  had  written 
thus  far,  when  dear  Madame  Hogan  was  taken  with  a  se- 
vere hemorrhage  and  I  feared  she  would  die  before  receiv- 
ing the  Last  Sacraments.  After  Extreme  Unction  had  been 
administered  she  grew  better  and  the  physician  pronounced 
her  out  of  danger.  As  she  continued  to  improve,  I  left  two 
days  later  for  Philadelphia,  where  I  had  an  appointment  to 
meet  Bishop  Kenrick.  I  had  scarcely  set  out  on  my  journey 
when  our  dear  invalid  was  seized  with  suffocation,  and  the 
next  morning  she  breathed  her  last  sigh,  repeating  in  trans- 

107 


MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

ports  of  love,  '  Oh,  how  good  it  is  to  die  a  Religious  of  the 
Sacred  Heart.' 

"  Only  those  who  witnessed  the  devotedness  of  this  he- 
roic soul  can  realize  the  void  which  her  death  leaves  in  our 
ranks."  Madame  Hogan  was  deeply  mourned  by  all  those 
who  had  come  within  the  sphere  of  her  influence. 

We  find  in  the  journal  of  the  Ladies'  Children  of  Mary, 
the  following  entry :  "  Resolved,  that  as  a  mark  of  respect 
to  Madame  Hogan,  our  regretted  friend  and  counsellor, 
black  ribbon  shall  be  worn  on  our  medals  for  the  ensuing 
six  months." 

Shortly  before  her  death,  Madame  Hogan  had  been 
urged  by  one  of  her  sisters  to  be  more  prudent  in  regard 
to  her  health,  as  there  was  no  one  to  take  her  place. 
"  When  our  Lord  takes  me,"  she  answered,  "  He  will  send 
one  far  more  useful  than  I  have  ever  been ! " 

Her  words  were  fully  verified.  A  few  days  after  Mad- 
ame Hogan's  death,  a  distinguished  convert  of  Bishop 
Hughes,  Miss  Sarah  Jones,  entered  the  Novitiate,  and  for 
over  forty  years  Mother  Hardey  found  in  her  not  only  a 
loyal,  devoted  daughter,  but  a  most  efficient  aid  in  every 
department  of  her  administration. 

In  1846  the  Convent  of  Saint  Jacques  in  Canada  was  be- 
set with  difficulties  which  required  Mother  Hardey's  per- 
sonal solution.  The  boarding  pupils  from  Montreal  had  be- 
come so  numerous  that  they  occupied  nearly  the  entire 
building,  which  had  been  erected  for  the  children  of  Saint 
Jacques.  These  latter,  to  the  great  displeasure  of  the  vil- 
lagers, were  located  temporarily  in  an  adjoining  house.  The 
saintly  Cure,  Monsieur  Pare,  tried  in  vain  to  appease  his 
angry  flock.  They  were  in  open  revolt  against  him  when 
Mother  Hardey  arrived.  She  listened  with  kindly  interest 
to  their  grievance,  acknowledging  that  they  were  justified 
in  their  protests,  and  calmed  them  with  the  assurance  that 
the  boarders  should  be  removed  without  delay. 

She   purchased   property   at   Saint   Vincent,   He  Jesus, 

1 08 


THE  ACADEMY  AT  ASTORIA 

which  was  at  a  more  convenient  distance  from  Montreal, 
and  established  the  boarding  school  there. 

On  her  return  to  Astoria,  Mother  Hardey  tried  to  ob- 
tain for  the  pupils  the  blessing  of  a  spiritual  retreat.  Bishop 
McCloskey,  who  was  confessor  at  the  convent,  applied  to 
the  Jesuit  Fathers,  but  without  success.  The  pupils  began 
a  Novena  to  Our  Lady  of  Sorrows  at  the  suggestion  of 
Mother  Hardey,  and  on  the  last  day  of  the  Novena  she  re- 
ceived a  letter  from  the  good  Bishop  offering  to  give  the  re- 
treat himself.  Needless  to  say,  the  favor  was  accepted  with 
joy  and  gratitude. 

The  zealous  Bishop  took  so  deep  an  interest  in  the  suc- 
cess of  the  good  work  that  he  not  only  read  over  the  chil- 
dren's resolutions,  but  added  some  words  of  counsel  and 
encouragement  in  their  notebooks.  More  than  forty  years 
later,  one  of  the  retreatants  had  still  in  her  possession  the 
notes  of  that  retreat,  and  to  the  surprise  of  the  Bishop,  then 
our  first  American  Cardinal,  she,  a  professed  Religious  of 
the  Sacred  Heart,  showed  him  the  words  of  advice  and 
warning  which  he  had  written  for  her. 

Another  item  of  interest  in  the  Annals  of  Astoria,  is  the 
organization  of  a  society  to  provide  for  the  needs  of  poor 
churches.  A  letter,  describing  a  similar  enterprise  carried  on 
in  the  Convent  of  the  Sacred  Heart  in  Metz,  awoke  in  the 
pupils  a  desire  to  emulate  their  sisters  in  Europe.  Mother 
Hardey  encouraged  the  project  to  open  a  bazaar  for  the 
purpose  of  realizing  the  funds  necessary  to  purchase  mate- 
rials. The  result  was  that  at  the  Distribution  of  Premiums 
July  2ist,  a  generous  offering  of  vestments  and  altar  linen 
was  presented  to  Bishop  Hughes  and  his  Coadjutor,  Bishop 
McCloskey,  for  the  benefit  of  their  country  missions. 

Joys  such  as  these  were  not  without  alloy  for  Mother 
Hardey,  as  we  learn  from  the  correspondence  of  those  days. 
Experience  has  proved  that  the  work  of  education  is  not 
only  a  difficult,  but  also  an  ungrateful  task,  for  the  reputa- 
tion of  a  convent  school  depends  upon  the  bearing  of  its 

109 


MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

pupils  within  and  those  who  have  already  passed  beyond 
its  walls.  Yet  their  conduct  is  not  always  a  fair  test  of  the 
influence  exerted  over  them  within  the  sacred  enclosure. 

Many  who  have  been  trained  to  faith  and  piety,  on  leav- 
ing their  convent  home  yield  to  the  allurements  of  the  world 
and  forget  the  lessons  learned  in  childhood.  Others,  re- 
maining but  a  short  time  under  the  influence  of  religious 
teaching  and  little  affected  by  it  in  their  worldly  life,  throw 
discredit  on  the  school  where  they  had  been  only  passing 
pupils. 

Unfounded  reports  of  the  worldliness  of  former  pupils 
and  of  too  progressive  a  spirit  in  the  school  of  Astoria, 
reached  Mother  Barat  and  caused  her  to  send  words  of 
warning  to  Mother  Hardey.  "  In  my  recent  letter,"  she 
writes,  "  I  was  obliged  to  tell  you  of  the  complaints  made 
of  your  school.  I  hope  you  will  understand  that  I  mention 
them  only  because  of  the  interest  which  I  take  in  you  and 
yours.  On  account  of  its  high  standing,  your  house  should 
be  the  type  and  model  of  all  the  others,  especially  as  re- 
gards the  class  of  pupils,  the  solidity  of  the  education  given 
and  the  formation  of  the  Mistresses.  What  are  arts  and 
sciences  but  dust  scattered  by  the  wind,  compared  with  the 
solid  virtues  which  we  should  cultivate  in  the  hearts  of  our 
pupils.  Even  if  we  did  not  take  into  account  the  greatest 
of  all  interests,  the  salvation  of  souls,  do  we  not  see  that  the 
most  superficial  persons  will  prefer  a  modest,  retiring,  in- 
dustrious woman  to  a  brilliant  prodigy  who  seeks  only 
pleasure  and  the  gratification  of  her  vanity? 

"  Do  not  give  yourself  either  peace  or  rest  until  you  have 
succeeded  in  making  your  Mistresses  models  of  the  true  re- 
ligious spirit  and  living  examples  of  the  principles  which 
they  should  instill  into  the  hearts  of  their  pupils." 

Mother  Hardey's  reply  is  characteristic  of  her  humility 
and  readiness  to  submit  cheerfully  to  the  voice  of  authority. 
"  MY  VENERATED  MOTHER  : 

"  I  have  this  moment  received  your  kind  letter  of  April 

no 


THE  ACADEMY  AT  ASTORIA 

i8th  and  I  thank  you  a  thousand  times  for  all  you  have  told 
me.  Though  your  reproaches  have  wounded  my  heart,  I 
believe  I  am  able  to  say  that  they  have  been  received  in 
the  same  spirit  which  dictated  them.  I  would  not  wish  on 
any  account  to  be  left  in  ignorance  of  the  charges  brought 
against  me.  I  fully  understand  how  destitute  I  am  of  the 
qualities  necessary  for  my  responsible  position,  and  I  am 
persuaded  that  another  would  do  far  better  in  my  place. 
However,  I  know  that  it  is  only  by  recognizing  my  mis- 
takes that  I  shall  be  able  to  correct  them.  How  could  I  ob- 
ject to  hear  them  from  you,  my  Mother,  to  whom  I  have 
belonged  for  over  twenty  years,  and  who  must  know  better 
than  any  one  else  my  incapacity  and  unworthiness.  I  am 
willing  to  receive  observations  from  any  source,  how  much 
more  readily  then  from  you,  whose  duty  it  is  to  point  out 
my  faults." 

Mother  Hardey  then  explains  in  her  own  frank,  simple 
way,  that  certain  changes  have  been  introduced  in  order 
that  the  regulations  of  the  boarding  school  might  be  made 
to  harmonize  with  the  classes  of  the  day  scholars.  Other 
points  of  discipline,  and  the  introduction  of  higher  branches 
of  study  in  accordance  with  the  needs  of  the  times,  she 
showed  to  be  in  perfect  keeping  with  the  Society's  educa- 
tional methods,  which,  without  being  altered  in  essentials, 
are  susceptible  of  adaptation  to  the  claims  of  every  country. 

Through  the  pen  of  her  secretary,  Mother  Barat  hast- 
ened to  send  the  assurance  that  the  explanation  was  per- 
fectly satisfactory.  Mother  Hardey  wrote  in  reply : 

"  Mother  Cahier's  kind  letter  of  July  24th  awaited  me  at 
the  close  of  my  retreat,  during  which  I  had  made  the  sacri- 
fice of  your  esteem  and  confidence,  as  your  last  two  letters 
had  caused  me  to  believe  I  had  forfeited  both.  You  may 
then  picture  my  joy  and  gratitude  on  learning  that  you  have 
sanctioned  all  I  have  done  for  the  welfare  of  the  souls  con- 
fided to  my  care." 

She  then  adds  a  message  from  Bishop  Hughes :  "  His 

in 


MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

Lordship  made  me  promise  to  give  you  this  message.  He 
begs  you,  by  venerated  Mother,  not  to  believe  all  you  hear 
about  his  house  of  the  Sacred  Heart.  He  assures  you  that 
if  anything  goes  wrong  he  will  be  the  first  to  tell  you.  He 
says  the  complaints  about  our  pupils  are  untrue;  that,  on 
the  contrary,  everyone  remarks  the  good  qualities  they 
possess." 

When  Bishop  Hughes  was  in  Paris  in  1846  he  called 
upon  Mother  Barat,  who  was  highly  gratified  by  all  he  told 
her  of  the  school  in  Astoria,  as  we  learn  from  the  following 
letter: 

"  PARIS,  15  MARCH,  1846. 
"  DEAR  MOTHER  AND  DAUGHTER  : 

"  Your  venerated  Bishop  has  kindly  offered  to  take  all 
our  commissions  and  to  be  the  bearer  of  this  letter,  which 
must  be  brief,  as  I  leave  to  my  secretary  to  reply  to  your 
business  questions,  and  I  count  upon  Monseigneur  to  make 
known  to  you  the  result  of  our  conversations  respecting 
your  house. 

"  They  were  consoling  to  me,  for  we  agreed  upon  every 
point.  His  Lordship  has  a  remarkably  sound  judgment  and 
foresight,  as  well  as  a  thorough  knowledge  of  business  af- 
fairs. How  happy  I  should  be  to  have  such  a  guide!  This 
good  prelate  will  provide  with  true  fatherly  interest  for  all 
your  spiritual  and  temporal  wants.  We  have  agreed  upon 
the  necessity  of  changing  your  present  abode,  and  we  have 
decided  to  borrow  the  funds  requisite  for  purchasing  a  de- 
sirable location  at  4  per  cent,  instead  of  7  per  cent.,  which 
you  have  to  pay  in  the  United  States.  We  shall  await  the 
purchase  of  the  property  before  raising  the  money.  Mother 
Adele  will  explain  to  you  our  wishes  in  regard  to  your  own 
house  and  the  others  confided  to  your  care. 

"  With  so  much  labor  and  solicitude,  dear  daughter,  it 
is  essential  that  you  keep  your  soul  in  peace  and  faithful 
to  God.  Be  dependent  then  upon  His  Holy  Spirit,  by  the 

112 


THE  ACADEMY  AT  ASTORIA 

practice  of  generosity  in  sacrificing  your  own  inclinations 
and  in  restraining  natural  activity.  A  superior  should  be, 
as  far  as  possible,  a  living  rule  to  all  her  subjects.  Be  faith- 
ful, my  daughter,  to  all  these  recommendations,  and  Jesus 
will  bless  your  efforts  and  you  will  thereby  procure  His 
glory  by  your  personal  holiness  as  well  as  by  your  works." 

Bishop  Hughes  arrived  in  New  York  on  the  2ist  of 
April.  Before  the  close  of  the  day  he  visited  Astoria  and 
rejoiced  the  community  with  an  account  of  his  interview 
with  their  beloved  foundress. 

The  selection  of  a  new  location  now  became  the  great 
object  of  interest  to  religious  and  pupils,  and  having  heard 
that  the  Lorillard  estate  was  again  offered  for  sale,  Bishop 
Hughes  sent  his  secretary,  Rev.  James  Roosevelt  Bayley, 
to  negotiate  the  affair,  and  he  went  himself  to  Astoria  to 
recommend  the  community  to  do  violence  to  Heaven  by 
their  prayers.  They  began  at  once  a  Novena  of  the  Sta- 
tions of  the  Cross,  but  the  following  day  the  Bishop  re- 
turned to  say  that  Mrs.  Lorillard  positively  refused  to  let 
the  property  be  sold.  "  Be  patient,"  he  said,  "  and  make  up 
your  mind  to  remain  here  for  another  year."  His  Lordship 
was  discouraged,  but  Mother  Hardey's  hope  never  faltered. 

To  a  religious  who  said  it  would  be  tempting  Providence 
to  go  on  with  the  Novena,  Mother  Hardey  replied :  "  God 
is  more  powerful  than  His  creatures.  Let  us  put  our  trust 
in  Him  and  continue  our  prayers." 

Almost  immediately  after  the  Novena  the  property  was 
again  advertised  for  sale,  but  the  price  set  upon  it,  $70,000, 
was  a  sum  far  beyond  Mother  Hardey's  reach. 

After  calculating  her  resources  and  consulting  friends 
willing  and  able  to  help  her,  she  found  she  could  only 
offer  $50,000.  It  was  emphatically  refused,  but  Mother 
Hardey  was  not  yet  discouraged.  With  all  the  strength  of 
her  lively  faith  she  turned  for  aid  to  our  Blessed  Lady. 
Within  the  space  of  three  days  twenty  thousand  "  Memo- 
rares  "  were  recited  by  the  religious  and  pupils,  and,  on  the 

8  113 


MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

evening  of  the  third  day,  their  prayers  were  granted  by  her 
who  is  "  never  invoked  in  vain." 

Not  only  did  the  Lorillard  heirs  declare  their  willingness 
to  sell  for  $50,000,  but  they  even  added  to  the  original  prop- 
erty twelve  acres  of  land  adjoining  it. 

When  Bishop  Hughes  announced  the  good  news,  heart- 
felt thanksgiving  and  a  grand  "Magnificat"  resounded  in 
the  little  chapel  of  "  Ravenswood,"  for  this  visible  proof 
of  Divine  love  given  to  fervent  confidence  in  prayer. 

The  removal  from  Astoria  took  place  on  the  I7th  of  Feb- 
ruary, 1847.  The  pupils  refused  to  go  home  during  those 
days,  so  eager  were  they  to  share  with  their  mistresses  the 
pleasures  and  privations  of  their  installation  at  Manhattan- 
ville. 


114 


CHAPTER  XII. 

EARLY    DAYS    AT    MANHATTANVILLE — LETTER    OF    BISHOP 
HUGHES — DAY  SCHOOL  IN  NEW  YORK — 1847-1849. 

A  more  beautiful  place  could  hardly  be  imagined  than 
"  Manhattanville,"  as  the  Lorillard  estate  was  called,  after 
it  passed  into  the  possession  of  the  Religious  of  the  Sacred 
Heart. 

It  was  situated  upon  the  brow  of  an  elevation  about  one 
hundred  and  sixty  feet  above  Harlem  Plains  on  one  side 
and  the  banks  of  the  Hudson  on  the  other.  The  grounds 
were  remarkably  picturesque.  Secluded  walks,  lofty  rocks 
crowned  with  verdure,  thick  woods  traversed  by  narrow 
paths,  like  Indian  trails,  smiling  lawns  and  handsome  parks 
all  combined  to  throw  a  charm  around  the  spot,  now  con- 
secrated to  the  interests  of  religious  education. 

The  pupils  came  in  bands  from  Astoria  and  were  enthu- 
siastic in  their  joyful  appreciation  of  their  new  home.  The 
first  care  of  the  religious  was  to  provide  for  the  comfort  of 
the  children.  For  themselves  they  gladly  accepted  the  pri- 
vations inseparable  from  a  foundation. 

"  Our  arrival  at  Manhattanville,"  writes  one  of  the  nov- 
ices, "  marked  an  epoch  in  our  community  life.  Our  num- 
bers were  few,  our  labors  manifold,  and  even  in  the  beau- 
tiful Lorillard  mansion  we  felt  that  we  were  the  true  daugh- 
ters of  '  holy  poverty.'  The  hall  outside  the  kitchen  served 
for  our  refectory,  a  couple  of  boards  answered  for  tables, 
while  a  box  often  supplied  the  want  of  a  chair.  Bishop 
Hughes,  who  came  almost  daily,  was  much  amused  by  our 
improvised  furniture,  and  he  marvelled  at  our  ingenuity  in 
turning  everything  to  account.  He  was  especially  im- 
pressed by  the  way  in  which  Mother  Hardey  managed  to 
reserve  for  herself  what  was  most  laborious  and  inconve- 
nient. '  I  never  see  her,'  he  remarked  to  one  of  the  reli- 

"5 


MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

gious,  '  without  broom  or  brush  in  hand,  and  she  is  always 
the  same,  whether  in  the  kitchen  or  in  the  parlor.  Truly 
your  Mother  is  one  in  a  thousand ! ' ' 

The  Bishop's  words  found  an  echo  in  the  hearts  of  her 
daughters,  for  it  was  their  happy  privilege  to  witness  daily 
examples  of  those  admirable  virtues  of  which  the  Bishop 
had  only  a  passing  glimpse. 

In  the  neighborhood  of  Manhattanville  were  many  poor 
families  upon  whom  Mother  Hardey  began  at  once  to  exer- 
cise her  charity.  Since  their  arrival  in  New  York  the  work 
of  the  religious  had  been  restricted  to  the  Academy ;  now 
they  were  about  to  add  the  one  dearest  to  the  heart  of  the 
members  of  the  Society,  the  gratuitous  instruction  of  poor 
children. 

Mother  Hardey  converted  a  commodious  stable  into  a 
schoolhouse  and  appointed  two  of  the  novices  to  teach  the 
classes.  In  a  short  time  the  good  work  prospered.  She  vis- 
ited the  classes  from  time  to  time  and  encouraged  both  Mis- 
tresses and  pupils.  Every  effort  made  was  sure  to  receive 
her  commendation.  At  the  end  of  the  school  term  she  pre- 
sided at  the  closing  exercises,  which  were  necessarily  crude 
and  therefore  disappointing  to  the  young  Mistresses,  who 
hoped  for  better  results;  but  their  Mother  evinced  un- 
feigned delight  while  listening  to  the  simple  recitations  and 
songs  of  the  children.  After  distributing  the  rewards,  she 
noticed  several  little  girls  looking  disconsolate  because  they 
had  received  nothing.  The  kind  Mother  could  not  let  these 
little  ones  leave  with  downcast  hearts.  She  had  anticipated 
the  trouble  and  provided  for  it.  Drawing  from  her  pocket 
a  package  of  highly  colored  pictures,  she  called  the  children 
to  her,  one  by  one,  then  asked  the  Mistress  to  mention  some 
effort  made  by  the  child,  in  order  that  she  might  receive  a 
picture,  either  as  recompense  or  encouragement. 

The  families  of  the  children  were  likewise  the  objects 
of  her  solicitude.  Work  for  the  parents,  clothes  for  the  chil- 
dren, medicines  for  the  sick,  all  the  needs  of  the  body,  but 

116 


EARLY  DAYS  AT  MANHATTANVILLE 

more  especially  the  needs  of  the  soul,  claimed  her  time  and 
assistance.  Her  charity  soon  became  proverbial  in  the  vil- 
lage. "  If  a  poor  woman  called  to  see  Reverend  Mother," 
one  of  the  Sisters  relates,  "  I  was  sure  to  find  that  some  of 
her  clothes  or  bedding  had  disappeared.  I  tried  to  keep  a 
piece  of  carpet  under  her  desk  during  the  winter,  but  every 
few  days  it  was  missing.  At  last  I  complained  to  Reverend 
Mother  that  there  was  not  another  piece  to  be  found.  She 
quietly  answered :  '  I  am  so  glad,  Sister,  now  your  fretting 
will  be  over.' 

"  One  day  a  poor  woman  came  with  a  very  pitiful  tale. 
Her  husband  had  pawned  her  sewing  machine  and  had 
spent  the  money  in  gambling  and  drink.  Mother  Hardey 
advised  her  to  bring  her  husband  to  see  her  when  he  was 
sober,  but  the  man  refused.  She  then  wrote  him  a  note, 
stating  that  she  wanted  to  see  him  on  business.  He  came, 
very  much  abashed,  but  the  good  mother  put  him  at  his 
ease  by  inquiring  about  his  trade,  his  aptitude  for  manual 
work,  promised  to  secure  a  situation  for  him,  and  then 
broached  the  subject  of  his  religious  duties.  He  acknowl- 
edged that  he  had  not  been  to  the  Sacraments  for  years,  but 
he  would  make  his  peace  with  God  as  soon  as  he  was  pre- 
pared to  go  to  confession. 

"  A  few  weeks  later  the  prodigal  received  Holy  Com- 
munion and  Confirmation  in  the  convent  chapel,  and,  true 
tc  her  word,  Mother  Hardey  found  him  employment  by  get- 
ting him  to  attend  a  little  fancy  store  which  she  advised  his 
wife  to  open,  and  for  which  she  advanced  the  sum  of  fifty 
dollars  to  make  the  necessary  purchases. 

"  From  that  time  the  man  became  a  model  husband  and 
father.  The  business  venture  was  a  success,  and  some  years 
later  the  couple  purchased  a  fine  farm,  where  they  con- 
tinued to  prosper  and  where  they  have  brought  up  a  large 
family  in  the  fear  and  love  of  God." 

But  the  work  of  charity  dearest  to  the  heart  of  Mother 
Hardey  was  the  care  of  a  little  band  of  orphans,  the  chil- 
li; 


MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

dren  of  Irish  immigrants  who  had  died  of  the  cholera  on 
reaching  New  York.  The  opportunity  soon  presented  it- 
self and  was  a  consequence  of  the  difficulties  which  had 
arisen  between  Bishop  Hughes  and  the  Emmitsburg  supe- 
riors of  the  Sisters  of  Charity.  On  account  of  the  misun- 
derstanding he  asked  Mother  Hardey  to  take  charge  of 
these  children  pending  the  settlement  of  the  questions  at 
issue.  She  was  far  from  suspecting  that  this  act  of  charity, 
in  deference  to  the  Bishop's  request,  would  give  rise  to  sus- 
picion and  accusations  against  herself. 

When  the  New  York  Sisters  of  Charity  separated  from 
the  Mother  House  at  Emmitsburg,  which  had  become  affili- 
ated to  the  Paris  Congregation,  it  was  noised  abroad  that 
Mother  Hardey  would  soon  effect  a  similar  separation  of 
the  American  branch  of  the  Sacred  Heart.  Rumors  to  that 
effect  were  set  afloat  and  reached  even  the  ear  of  the 
Mother  General,  who  was  the  first  to  communicate  them  to 
Mother  Hardey,  of  whose  loyalty  she  never  doubted.  How 
deep  was  the  suffering  caused  by  the  charge  we  may  infer 
from  the  letters  of  Mother  Barat  at  this  period.  "  Continue, 
my  daughter,"  she  wrote,  "  to  unburden  your  heart  by  con- 
fiding to  me  all  that  grieves  and  troubles  you.  It  is  not 
right  for  you  to  keep  your  sorrows  to  yourself!  I  under- 
stand you  perfectly  and  I  am  thoroughly  convinced  of  your 
attachment  to  the  Society.  You  must  forget  what  has  oc- 
curred, and  remember,  dear  Mother,  no  good  can  be  accom- 
plished save  by  and  with  the  Cross." 

We  find  Father  Barelle  writing  to  her  in  the  same  strain. 
"Who  is  there  without  the  Cross?  Happy  the  souls  that 
know  how  to  appreciate  and  love  those  which  Jesus  pre- 
sents to  them,  in  order  to  draw  them  more  closely  to  Him- 
self! Be  of  the  number,  my  daughter,  and  make  no  distinc- 
tion between  one  cross  and  another.  See  in  each  of  them 
*  a  gift  of  God/  a  precious  stone  from  Calvary,  a  message 
of  grace,  an  efficacious  means  of  growing  conformable  to 
Jesus  and  one  of  the  rays  of  his  greatest  glory." 

118 


EARLY  DAYS  AT  MANHATTAN VI LLE 

We  can  give  no  better  refutation  of  the  calumny  circu- 
lated about  Mother  Hardey's  projected  schism  than  by 
quoting  the  following  passage  from  the  pages  of  her  French 
biography :  "  It  will  always  be  Mother  Hardey's  crown  and 
glory  that  she  was  exhaustless  in  her  efforts  to  strengthen 
and  maintain  the  bonds  of  unity  between  our  houses  in  Eu- 
rope and  America.  American  by  birth,  and  American  in 
heart,  she  had  nevertheless  acquired  in  a  high  degree  from 
those  who  trained  her  to  the  religious  life  the  spirit  which 
characterized  the  Society  in  its  infancy.  Powerful  by  her 
sterling  virtues  and  splendid  character,  her  dignified  bear- 
ing and  attractive  manners,  she  made  use  of  these  gifts  to 
maintain  in  all  its  integrity  the  spirit  she  had  received  and 
to  transmit  it  to  future  generations  of  her  religious  family." 

Towards  the  close  of  1847,  revolution  broke  out  in  al- 
most all  the  countries  of  Europe  and  in  many  places  the 
Church  was  fiercely  assailed.  As  usual,  the  Religious  Or- 
ders came  in  for  the  first  attack.  The  Society  of  the  Sacred 
Heart  had  its  share  of  trouble  and  its  members  were  ex- 
pelled from  their  convent  at  Montet,  in  Switzerland,  and 
from  five  others  in  Italy.  But  an  All-wise  Providence  drew 
from  it  all  a  blessing  for  the  Society  in  America,  for  in  pro- 
viding homes  for  the  banished  nuns,  Mother  Barat  thought 
of  her  houses  in  the  New  World.  "  Six  of  our  Sisters,"  she 
announced,  "  are  going  to  New  York.  Six  others  will  soon 
follow.  When  light  is  withdrawn  from  one  country  it 
passes  into  another." 

The  refugees  were  received  by  Mother  Hardey  with  that 
genuine  cordiality  which  proves,  that  if  earth  is  an  exile, 
the  Religious  of  the  Sacred  Heart  find  a  country,  a  homo 
and  a  Mother  in  every  convent  of  the  Order. 

Among  the  exiles  were  two  whose  names  are  intimately 
associated  with  the  early  history  of  Manhattanville,  Mad- 
ame Trincano,  whom  Mother  Barat  had  appointed  Mistress 
of  Novices,  and  Madame  Tommasini,  a  young  aspirant, 
who  had  suffered  much  during  the  sad  scenes  of  the  revolu- 
tion in  Turin.  . 


MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

Mother  Trincano  could  not  speak  English,  but  it  was  no 
obstacle  to  her  efficiency  as  Mistress  of  Novices.  Her  in- 
structions in  French  were  translated  fluently  by  one  of  the 
novices,  and  even  the  recreations,  which  were  carried  on  in 
two  languages,  lost  nothing  of  their  interest  and  gayety. 

Eager  to  secure  for  her  novices  the  advantage  of  greater 
seclusion  than  the  boarding  school  afforded,  Mother  Har- 
dey  fitted  up  for  their  use  a  small  stone  dwelling  on  the 
grounds,  known  as  "  the  cottage."  "  That  dear  little  No- 
vitiate," writes  a  novice  of  those  days,  "  was  a  true  Naza- 
reth, where  we  tasted  all  the  happiness  that  comes  from 
poverty  and  holy  obedience.  A  beautiful  park,  bordered  by 
tiees,  was  our  recreation  ground,  and  there  we  felt  as  se- 
cluded from  the  world  as  were  the  ancient  solitaries  of  the 
Thebaid.  The  hours  passed  in  that  lovely  spot  were  bright- 
est when  Mother  Hardey  was  present.  Her  conversation 
raised  our  hearts  to  God,  and  when  she  left  us  we  felt  dis- 
posed anew  for  prayer." 

"  Bishop  Hughes  often  came  to  see  us,"  writes  another. 
"  We  celebrated  his  first  visit  with  poetry  and  song.  He 
asked  for  a  copy  of  our  verses,  declaring  that  he  would  de- 
posit them  in  the  archives  of  the  Cathedral.  Once,  as  he 
walked  with  us  on  the  grassy  slope  in  front  of  the  cottage, 
I  presented  him  with  a  wild  flower,  saying,  '  Monseigneur, 
here  is  "Jack  in  the  Pulpit!"  '  Assuming  an  injured  air, 
he  exclaimed :  '  "  Jack  in  the  Pulpit !  "  Well,  Madame  Ten- 
broeck,  I  did  not  expect  such  a  slur  upon  the  oratory  of 
John  Hughes ! '  My  great  confusion  was  a  source  of  merri- 
ment to  him  and  my  novice  sisters." 

"  So  many  joys  centered  in  our  cottage  home  that  we 
left  it  with  regret,  when  our  Novitiate  was  established  in 
the  convent.  I  well  remember  the  day  we  took  possession 
of  that  new  abode,  and  also  Mother  Hardey's  bright  smile, 
as  she  showed  us  our  pleasant  rooms  and  simple  furniture. 
She  took  special  pleasure  in  calling  our  attention  to  the  set 
of  French  straw  chairs,  a  gift  from  our  Mother  General." 

1 20 


1  Old  Convent,  Manhattanville,  N.  Y. 

2  Chapel  at  Manhattanville 


EARLY  DAYS  AT  MANHATTANVILLE 

Mother  Barat's  letters  show  the  interest  she  felt  in  these 
novices.  Seeing  in  them  her  religious  family  of  the  future, 
she  insisted  upon  their  formation,  according  to  the  true 
spirit  of  the  Institute.  "  Pay  special  attention  to  the  nov- 
ices," she  wrote  to  Mother  Hardey.  "  See  that  from  the 
very  beginning  they  strive  to  acquire  solid  virtue.  Teach 
them  to  practice  mortification  and  detachment.  Unless 
they  aim  at  becoming  interior,  they  will  be  only  counterfeit 
religious,  and  then  how  incomplete  will  be  their  own  per- 
fection and  how  little  good  will  result  from  their  ministry 
with  souls." 

Manhattanville  was  hardly  established  upon  a  solid 
basis  when  its  prosperity  seemed  to  be  menaced  by  an  un- 
expected event.  A  beautiful  property,  midway  between  the 
city  and  Manhattanville,  was  purchased  by  Bishop  Hughes 
for  the  Sisters  of  Charity,  who  were  to  start  a  school  there. 
The  friends  of  the  Sacred  Heart  became  alarmed  and  urged 
Mother  Hardey  to  remonstrate  with  the  Bishop.  She  re- 
fused, saying  the  field  of  labor  was  large  enough  for  both 
institutions,  and,  that  in  the  work  of  saving  souls,  it  mat- 
ters not  whether  Sisters  of  Charity  or  Sisters  of  the  Sacred 
Heart  were  to  be  the  laborers.  Mother  Barat  expressed 
her  fear  on  the  same  subject  to  Mother  Hardey  in  the  fol- 
lowing lines:  "What  is  the  meaning  of  this  report  which 
has  reached  me,  my  daughter?  Can  it  be  possible  that  your 
Bishop,  who  has  always  been  so  devoted  to  your  interests 
and  who  urged  you  to  incur  the  great  expense  of  your  re- 
cent purchase,  has  established  near  Manhattanville  a  school 
similar  to  yours,  and  at  a  more  moderate  pension,  thus  leav- 
ing you  but  little  chance  to  prosper?  I  acknowledge  that 
I  am  greatly  surprised  at  this  unexpected  turn  of  affairs. 
What  will  become  of  your  establishment  and  what  do  you 
propose  to  do?"  Then,  lifting  her  thoughts  above  earthly 
cares,  she  continues:  "  O,  my  daughter,  we  must  grow 
strong  with  the  strength  of  Jesus  Christ,  uniting  ourselves 
so  closely  to  His  Divine  Heart  that  no  one  can  reach  us 

121 


MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

without  touching  that  Divine  Heart  Itself!  Let  us  then 
despoil  ourselves  of  what  is  purely  natural,  in  order  to 
clothe  ourselves  with  Jesus  Christ." 

It  was  probably  this  letter  which  determined  Mother 
Hardey  to  make  known  her  apprehensions  to  the  Bishop. 
His  Lordship's  vindication  is  best  expressed  in  his  own 
words : 

"  NEW  YORK,  November  22,  1847. 
"  DEAR  MADAME  HARDEY  : 

"  I  regretted  the  other  evening  that  the  lateness  of  the 
hour  did  not  allow  me  to  hear  from  you  and  to  say  to  you 
all  that  I  would  wish  in  reference  to  the  situation  and  pros- 
pects of  your  Community.  Not  knowing  when  I  may  have 
another  opportunity  of  conversing  on  the  subject,  I  prefer 
writing  down  leisurely  what  I  would  wish  you  to  regard 
as  my  opinion  in  the  whole  matter.  I  was  much  afflicted 
to  perceive  that  for  the  first  time  you  appeared  to  be  down- 
cast and  despondent  in  reference  to  your  prospects.  I  was 
equally  pained  in  perceiving  that  I  also,  in  your  thoughts, 
was  regarded  as  having  contributed  to  the  cause  of  your 
depression  by  having  allowed  another  Community  to  estab- 
lish a  school  on  terms  and  in  circumstances  prejudicial  to 
your  success.  It  appears  that  such  an  impression  has  been 
made  on  the  mind  of  Madame  Barat,  your  Mother  General. 
I  should  have  been  sufficiently  afflicted  at  your  depression 
and  discouragement  without  having  learned  that  I  myself 
was  looked  upon  as  having  been  the  cause. 

"  I  state  the  case  according  to  the  impression  which  the 
brief  conversation  I  had  with  you  has  left  upon  my  mind, 
and  I  only  regret  that  if  unknowingly  I  have  contributed  to 
such  a  result  I  was  not  advised  of  it  at  any  period  during 
the  progress  of  what  has  been  accomplished.  I  know  that 
from  the  day  when  I  invited  the  Religious  of  the  Sacred 
Heart  to  this  diocese  I  have  been  loyal  and,  in  good  faith, 
zealous  for  their  success,  and,  unless  awfully  mistaken  in 
my  judgment,  true  to  their  interests.  I  may  say  at  the 

122 


EARLY  DAYS  AT  MANHATTANVILLE 

same  time  that  in  great  things,  as  in  small  things,  the  Com- 
munity has  been  all  that  my  heart  could  wish ;  that  they 
have  already  done  much  for  the  good  of  religion,  and  are 
destined  with  God's  blessing  to  do  still  more ;  that  I  see  no 
reason  for  despondency,  and  that  I  am  now  as  sanguine  of 
their  success  as  I  have  been  at  any  time  since  their  coming 
to  this  diocese.  At  all  events,  I  look  upon  myself  as  having, 
so  far  as  depends  on  me,  adopted  your  Community  as  the 
first  school  for  Catholic  education  in  this  diocese,  and  so 
long  as  I  live  you  must  not  allow  yourself  to  give  way  to 
gloomy  apprehensions,  whatever  discouragements  you  may 
experience  from  other  causes,  for  I  consider  myself  bound 
to  see  that  your  house  shall  not  go  down,  whilst  I  am  able 
to  sustain  it,  and  that  in  any  event  we  shall  stand  or  fall 
together. 

"  Now  permit  me  to  say  that  I  think  your  apprehensions 
are  entirely  unfounded.  As  I  feel  a  little  mortified  that 
Madame  Barat  should  have  come  to  any  conclusion  reflect- 
ing upon  me,  without  having  first  given  me  intimation  of 
the  grounds  of  it,  I  think  it  proper  to  take  a  retrospective 
glance  at  what  has  occurred  since  you  came  to  the  diocese. 

"  When  Madame  Galitzin  arrived  here  it  was  deemed 
most  expedient  to  commence  in  the  city,  and  the  price  of 
tuition  was  put  at  rather  a  high  rate,  with  a  view  at  once 
to  secure  the  attendance  of  what  are  called  the  better 
classes,  and  at  the  same  time  not  to  injure  the  other  schools, 
and  not  to  provoke  their  hostility.  Afterwards  the  health 
of  the  religious  required  a  change  of  air,  and  the  place  in 
Astoria  was  purchased.  It  was  not  a  desirable  acquisition, 
but  perhaps  the  best  that  could  be  procured  at  the  time 
and  under  the  circumstances.  When  the  opportunity  pre- 
sented itself  I  urged  the  acquisition  of  your  present  prop- 
erty, and  I  am  grateful  both  that  I  prevented  other  pur- 
chases, which  would  not  have  been  suitable,  and  that  this, 
which  by  all  testimony  and  agreement  of  opinion  is  for 
your  purposes  the  most  desirable,  has  been  secured.  In 

123 


MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

recommending  this,  however,  either  to  yourselves  or  to 
your  Mother  General  in  Paris,  I  did  not  disguise  the  weight 
of  the  undertaking,  nor  the  expense  which  for  some  time 
it  would  involve. 

"  As  regards  your  immediate  prospects,  and  above  all 
the  economy  of  your  establishment,  for  the  present  time, 
either  of  the  other  places  would  have  made  your  income  and 
your  expenditure  more  in  proportion  to  each  other.  But 
ultimately  you  would  have  to  abandon  both.  Certainly  you 
have  three  times  the  quantity  of  land  which  would  be  neces- 
sary for  you.  But,  on  the  other  hand,  it  will  rise  in  value 
from  year  to  year,  and  after  the  railroad  along  the  Hudson 
shall  have  been  completed  it  will  be  in  your  power  to  dis- 
pose of  as  much  of  it  as  you  wish,  and  at  a  very  enhanced 
price. 

"  Again,  your  expenses  of  the  past  year  have  been  nec- 
essarily greater  than  they  will  be  for  any  year  to  come.  It 
is  not  in  my  opinion,  therefore,  the  diminution  of  your 
school,  so  much  as  the  increase  in  your  expenses  over  and 
above  your  income,  which  has  caused  you  to  be  alarmed. 

"  As  regards  the  existence  of  another  school,  I  persist 
still  in  the  opinion  that  it  cannot  interfere  in  any  way  with 
your  success." 

Here  the  Bishop  gives  his  reasons  for  this  opinion,  and 
after  dwelling  at  length  on  the  subject,  continues: 

"  Certainly,  I  would  not  sanction  anything  which  I  could 
reasonably  suppose  would  be  to  your  detriment.  I  think 
I  may  appeal  to  yourselves  to  say  whether  I  have  left  any- 
thing undone  since  you  have  been  in  the  diocese  to  aid  you 
and  to  co-operate  with  you  in  the  establishment  of  a  relig- 
ious educational  institution,  which  has  been  already  and  I 
trust  is  still  destined  to  be  for  many  generations  a  blessing 
which  the  Catholic  people  are,  alas !  themselves  but  too 
slow  to  appreciate.  Yet,  for  my  own  part,  I  do  not  see  the 
slightest  reason  for  discouragement." 

The  Bishop  then  refers  to  some  changes  in  discipline 

124 


EARLY  DAYS  AT  MANHATTANVILLE 

which  might  prove  advantageous,  such  as  public  entertain- 
ments, distribution  of  premiums;  literary  disputations  in 
presence  of  parents,  etc.,  at  which  he  says  he  always  pre- 
sides with  genuine  pleasure. 

"  There  is  only  one  other  topic  to  which  I  shall  allude. 
You  know  that  I  have  never  been  in  a  situation  to  aid  you 
from  any  resources  of  my  own.  You  know,  also,  that  I  have 
never  advised  or  encouraged  any  means  which  would  indi- 
cate that  you  were  restricted  or,  at  least,  so  limited  in  your 
resources  as  to  require  aid  from  the  well  disposed  of  our 
Catholic  population.  In  this  country  I  feared  that  such  a 
course  would  react  injuriously  on  your  Institute,  and  hence 
both  here  and  in  France  I  have  held  the  same  language, 
especially  in  reference  to  your  present  purchase.  Nor  has 
anything  occurred  to  alter  my  views  on  this  subject.  If  your 
superiors  can  only  have  confidence  enough  to  aid  and  sus- 
tain you  in  reference  to  any  temporary  deficiency  in  your 
income,  or  to  any  necessary  improvements  which  you  may 
require  in  your  buildings,  I  shall  guarantee  that  you  will  be 
able  to  refund  such  advances.  If  they  do  not,  but  are  will- 
ing that  I  should  make  known  in  such  way  as  to  enlist  the 
sympathy  of  the  charitable  in  your  behalf,  I  shall  pledge 
myself  again  that  it  will  not  be  necessary  for  you  to  ask 
any  aid  from  abroad.  But  at  all  events,  I  beg  you  never  to 
allow  your  courage  to  fail.  There  is  no  reason  for  it,  and 
even  if  there  were,  the  Church  cries  out  every  day,  in  a 
sense  which  religious  persons  above  all  should  understand, 
'  Sursum  Corda  ! ' 

"  I  fear  I  have  fatigued  you  by  this  long  epistle,  which 
I  would  have  said  to  yourself  in  substance,  if  my  last  visit 
had  not  been  so  late  in  the  afternoon  as  to  require  the  cur- 
tailment of  the  conversation. 

"  Recommending  myself  to  the  prayers  of  the  Com- 
munity, I  remain, 

"  Faithfully,  your  father  and  servant  in  Xt, 

"JOHN  HUGHES,   Bishop  of  New  York." 
125 


MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

Happily  this  letter  is  one  of  the  few  found  among 
Mother  Hardey's  papers.  We  may  well  believe  that  it  gave 
her  new  courage  to  pass  through  the  many  trials  and  hard- 
ships which  she  had  to  endure  before  Manhattanville 
reached  the  height  of  prosperity  to  which  she  raised  it. 

"  During  the  early  years  at  Manhattanville,"  writes  one 
of  the  religious,  "  our  Mother's  work  and  cares  were  almost 
beyond  endurance.  Some  were  more  ready  to  criticise  and 
thwart  her  projects  than  to  aid  her  in  executing  them. 
Alone,  and  in  silence,  she  carried  a  burden  which  one  less 
courageous  would  have  thrown  down  in  despair.  But  it 
was  not  in  human  aid  or  sympathy  that  she  sought  strength 
and  courage.  Many  times  during  the  day,  and  late  at  night, 
might  she  be  seen  near  the  Tabernacle,  in  loving  colloquy 
with  the  Heart  of  Jesus,  to  promote  whose  glory  she 
counted  as  nothing  her  own  suffering  and  fatigue." 

The  letters  of  Mother  Barat  give  us  an  idea  of  the 
almost  incredible  labors  of  Mother  Hardey,  as  well  as  of 
the  many  and  varied  trials  which  caused  her  to  sow  in  tears 
what  those  who  have  come  after  her  have  reaped  in  joy. 

"  Try,  my  daughter,"  writes  Mother  Barat,  "  to  divide 
your  occupations  among  your  subjects.  However  gifted  a 
Superior  may  be,  she  cannot  do  everything  herself.  Appoint 
Mother  Trincano  assistant  as  well  as  mistress  of  novices. 
During  your  absence  from  Manhattanville  let  her  be  su- 
perior par  interim.  Can  you  not  find  some  one  to  whom 
you  may  confide  the  care  of  the  treasury,  or  at  least  one 
who  can  assist  you  in  this  department,  for  I  see  the  neces- 
sity of  your  keeping  the  title  of  treasurer  and  superintend- 
ing the  temporalities  of  the  house.  Notwithstanding  your 
occupations,  I  believe  it  advisable  for  you  to  continue  to 
direct  the  school  and  to  correspond  with  the  parents  of  the 
pupils  as  much  as  possible ;  but  you  should  have  at  your 
service  a  reliable  Mistress,  who  can  replace  you  in  main- 
taining order  and  in  attending  to  the  numerous  details  of 
the  government,  for  both  teachers  and  pupils." 

126 


EARLY  DAYS  AT  MANHATTANVILLE 

But  anxieties  of  a  graver  nature  than  the  multiplicity  of 
her  daily  duties  often  weighed  upon  Mother  Hardey.  Debts 
had  to  be  paid,  and  the  funds  were  often  lacking.  One  of 
her  daughters  writes:  "A  note  of  $1500  was  due  on  a  certain 
day  and  our  Mother  had  not  wherewith  to  redeem  it.  As 
ever,  her  trust  was  in  the  Hearts  of  Jesus  and  Mary.  She 
appealed  to  the  fervent  prayers  of  the  Community  and 
novices  to  obtain  the  required  amount.  Deep  was  our 
gratitude  to  God,  when  a  few  days  later  Mother  Trincano 
told  us  that  the  old  place  at  Astoria  had  found  a  purchaser, 
and  the  first  payment  would  be  exactly  $1500.  The  dear 
Mother  was  radiant  with  faith  and  joy.  As  for  Mother 
Hardey,  she  remained  until  a  late  hour  that  night  before 
the  Tabernacle,  thankfully  communing  with  Him  who  had 
so  mercifully  come  to  her  aid.  A  little  later  a  sum  of  $1000 
was  needed,  and  again  we  were  asked  to  pray,  as  the  con- 
sequences would  be  serious  if  the  payment  was  not  made 
when  due.  Needless  to  say,  we  redoubled  our  fervor.  The 
eve  of  the  important  day  came,  and  with  it  the  answer  to 
our  prayers.  A  Cuban  gentleman,  before  leaving  for 
Europe,  handed  Mother  Hardey  $1000  in  gold,  as  a  deposit 
for  the  pension  of  his  children,  telling  her  to  use  the  money 
if  it  could  be  of  service  to  her.  We  all  looked  upon  this  as 
a  marvelous  protection  of  Divine  Providence.  Mother  Har- 
dey said  nothing,  but  the  expression  of  her  countenance 
plainly  indicated  the  emotions  of  her  heart." 

After  the  transfer  from  the  city  to  Astoria  the  day 
pupils,  as  we  have  seen,  were  removed  to  Bleecker  Street, 
but  the  house  was  closed  after  a  year,  to  the  great  regret  of 
the  Bishop.  In  February,  1848,  he  pleaded  for  the  reopen- 
ing of  a  day  school  in  the  city,  and,  with  Mother  Barat's 
consent,  134  Bleecker  Street,  another  dwelling  was  rented, 
and  before  long  a  large  number  of  pupils  were  admitted.  It 
was  a  convenient  place  for  the  work  of  spiritual  retreats,  as 
also  for  the  meetings  of  the  Children  of  Mary;  but  while 
the  opening  of  this  house  contributed  much  to  the  advance- 

127 


MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

ment  of  religion,  it  added  greatly  to  the  solicitude  of  Mother 
Hardey.  Her  subjects  were  so  few  in  number  that  she  was 
obliged  to  assign  the  charge  of  the  house  to  a  young  re- 
ligious, Madame  Sarah  Jones,  who  had  but  recently  com- 
pleted her  noviceship.  Mother  Hardey,  however,  reserved 
for  herself  the  direction  of  the  little  family  and  the  super- 
intendence of  all  that  related  to  the  school.  She  set  apart 
one  day  in  each  month  for  these  duties,  but  pressing  busi- 
ness often  called  her  more  frequently  to  the  city.  These 
visits  became  for  the  zealous  superior  opportunities  for  prac- 
ticing holy  poverty.  She  could  not  afford  to  keep  a  horse 
and  carriage,  and  even  the  fare  in  the  Bloomingdale  stage 
was  somewhat  of  a  drain  upon  her  slender  purse,  so  she 
usually  availed  herself  of  the  butcher's  wagon  for  a  drive 
to  the  city.  As  the  religious  in  those  days  wore  a  secular 
costume  in  traveling  it  was  easy  to  pass  unnoticed.  On  one 
occasion,  as  she  was  about  to  leave  for  the  city,  she  saw  a 
farmer's  wagon  at  the  door,  and  asked  the  driver  to  let  her 
lide  with  him.  "  But,  Mother,"  exclaimed  the  portress, 
"  you  surely  will  not  ride  in  that  open  wagon !  "  "  Why 
not?  "  she  replied.  "  With  my  veil  over  my  face  I  can  pass 
for  the  farmer's  wife."  Then  stepping  into  the  wagon  she 
started  off  with  the  good  man,  who  appreciated  the  honor 
of  her  company  and  called  for  her  again  in  the  evening. 

"  How  eagerly  we  looked  for  her  coming!  "  writes  Ma- 
dame Jones.  "  We  spent  our  brightest  days  when  she  was 
with  us,  and  they  gave  us  new  strength  to  work  generously 
when  deprived  of  her  presence.  Weenjoyed  to  the  utmost  the 
evening  hours  when  grouped  around  her  we  listened  to  her 
precious  counsels,  and  drew  from  her  words  the  spirit  of 
the  Society  she  loved  so  much.  She  never  tired  of  speak- 
ing to  us  of  our  Mother  General,  Mothers  Eugenie  and  Mur- 
phy, of  the  early  days  of  Saint  Michael's,  and  we  never  grew 
weary  of  listening.  Wishing  to  prolong  those  delightful 
moments,  our  timekeeper  once  secretly  stopped  the  clock. 
The  conversation  continued,  when  Mother  Hardey  was  sud- 

128 


EARLY  DAYS  AT  MANHATTANVILLE 

denly  startled  by  hearing  the  city  clock  strike  ten !  She 
looked  at  us  with  such  amazement  that  the  guilty  one 
hastened  to  confess  her  fault.  '  Never  do  that  again,  my 
child,'  was  the  rebuke  gently  given,  '  or  I  shall  lose  confi- 
dence in  your  fidelity.' 

"  Our  little  home  was  the  favored  spot  chosen  by  our 
Mother  for  her  annual  retreat.  The  air  of  solitude  which 
then  surrounded  her,  her  recollection  and  absorption  in 
prayer  made  a  deep  impression  upon  us,  and  our  hearts  re- 
echoed the  words  of  a  Jesuit  Father  who  directed  her,  '  Your 
Mother  is  a  Saint!'" 

With  advancing  years,  Mother  Hardey  was  practicing 
with  ever  increasing  fidelity  the  wise  counsels  addressed  to 
her  by  Mother  Barat  towards  the  close  of  1847.  "  Above 
all,  my  daughter,  remain  in  the  peace  of  Jesus,  in  the  midst 
of  your  incessant  occupations.  Do  what  you  can  to  supply 
what  is  wanting,  but  do  not  kill  yourself.  Manage  to  get 
some  extra  time  to  repair  your  strength  near  the  Source  of 
Life,  for  without  help  from  the  Good  Master  you  will  surely 
break  down.  How  gladly  I  would  go  to  Manhattanville,  if 
I  were  only  able !  You  are  always  the  first  in  my  thoughts, 
for  I  desire  your  perfection ;  nor  shall  I  be  satisfied  until  you 
attain  to  the  very  highest  possible." 


129 


CHAPTER  XIII. 

FOUNDATIONS  AT  EDEN  HALL — HALIFAX — BUFFALO — CERE- 
MONIES IN  THE  MANHATTANVILLE  CHAPEL — 1847-1851. 

In  1846,  Bishop  Kenrick  asked  Mother  Hardey  to  estab- 
lish a  convent  in  Philadelphia.  In  reply  to  her  answer  that 
she  would  submit  his  request  to  the  Mother  General,  he 
wrote :  "  If  you  must  await  an  answer  from  Paris,  it  is 
needless  to  write,  for  I  have  promised  the  Ursulines  to  ac- 
cept them  if  you  decline." 

Thus  pressed  by  the  Bishop,  Mother  Hardey  represented 
the  case  to  the  Mother  General,  adding:  "  Although  it  costs 
me  greatly  to  act  without  your  authorization,  I  am  at  pres- 
ent compelled  either  to  accept  immediately  or  to  give  up 
the  opportunity  of  making  a  foundation  in  Philadelphia.  I 
have  also  received  a  letter  from  the  Provincial  of  the  Jesuits 
in  Georgetown,  urging  me  to  comply  at  once  with  the 
Bishop's  wishes.  After  consulting  Our  Lord  in  prayer,  and 
asking  counsel  of  friends  competent  to  advise  me,  I  wrote 
to  Mother  Boilevin  to  meet  me  in  Philadelphia  that  we 
might  together  learn  the  Bishop's  views  and  decide  upon 
the  wisest  course  to  adopt." 

This  letter  was  followed  a  few  weeks  later  by  another: 
"  The  Bishop  has  consented  to  await  your  decision,  yet  he  is 
so  sure  of  your  approval  that  he  made  me  pledge  my  word, 
in  your  name,  that  we  would  transfer  the  McSherrystown 
establishment  to  Philadelphia  next  spring,  but  with  the 
proviso  that  you  are  to  decide  whether  we  shall  rent  or 
purchase." 

Mother  Barat  having  given  her  consent,  the  boarding 
school  was  closed  at  McSherrystown  and  an  academy 
opened  on  Logan  Square  in  the  Bishop's  own  residence, 
which  he  placed  at  the  disposition  of  the  religious,  accepting 
for  himself  a  few  rooms  in  the  episcopal  seminary.  But 

130 


EDEN  HALL,  HALIFAX,  BUFFALO 

Mother  Hardey  recognized  the  necessity  of  procuring  for 
her  daughters  a  residence  in  the  country,  so  she  began  at 
once  to  look  for  a  suitable  location.  The  Cowperthwaite 
estate,  situated  about  ten  miles  from  the  city,  was  offered 
for  sale  at  a  very  moderate  price  in  1847.  She  purchased 
this  earthly  paradise,  whose  varied  beauties  won  for  it  the 
title  of  "  Eden  Hall,"  and  confided  it  to  the  care  of  Mother 
Tucker,  the  Mistress  General  of  Manhattanville,  a  woman 
of  great  influence  and  literary  ability,  as  well  as  of  deep  and 
enlightened  piety.  The  most  ardent  desire  of  Mother 
Tucker  was  to  instil  into  the  hearts  of  her  children  a  prac- 
tical devotion  to  the  "  Mother  of  Sorrows,"  and  so  well  did 
she  succeed  that  even  to  this  day  the  atmosphere  of  Eden 
Hall  seems  impregnated  with  it.  One  evening  in  May, 
1848,  during  a  retreat  given  by  Rev.  Father  Barbelin,  S.J., 
the  pupils  were  walking  through  the  quiet  groves  singing 
the  Stabat  Mater,  just  as  Mr.  George  Edwards  called  to 
see  the  superior.  He  was  much  impressed  by  the  mournful 
strains  and  remarked  that  their  sweet  voices  inspired  love 
for  our  Blessed  Lady.  "  Yes,"  answered  Mother  Tucker, 
"  they  obtain  all  they  ask  from  our  Lady  of  Dolors." 
"  Well,"  said  Mr.  Edwards,  "  if  they  can  obtain  for  me  the 
success  of  a  lawsuit  now  pending,  I  will  give  you  $3000 
towards  building  a  new  church."  Mother  Tucker  at  once 
informed  the  religious  and  pupils  of  Mr.  Edwards'  request 
and  promise,  and  before  retiring  that  night  they  recited 
three  thousand  Hail  Marys.  The  next  evening  Mr.  Ed- 
wards returned  to  announce  the  success  of  the  prayers  and 
to  make  good  his  promise. 

The  corner  stone  of  the  new  church  was  laid  October 
30,  1849,  by  Archbishop  Hughes,  who  also,  on  November 
27,  1851,  performed  the  ceremony  of  consecration,  assisted 
by  Bishop  Demers,  Bishop  Kenrick  having  been  trans- 
ferred to  the  See  of  Baltimore.  Two  Bishops,  forty  priests, 
and  a  band  of  seminarians  took  part  in  the  ceremony,  but 
Mother  Hardey  could  not  be  present,  as  she  had  left  for 


MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

Paris  the  previous  October.  Archbishop  Hughes  pro- 
nounced the  little  Gothic  chapel  as  the  most  beautiful  in 
the  States.  In  fact  it  was  the  first  convent  chapel  to  be  con- 
secrated. The  sermon  was  preached  by  Dr.  Forbes  at  the 
High  Mass  which  followed  the  consecration.  The  cere- 
monies lasted  four  hours. 

Mother  Hardey  was  actively  engaged  during  the  winter 
of  1848  with  preparations  for  two  foundations,  one  in  Hali- 
fax, Nova  Scotia,  the  other  in  Buffalo,  New  York. 

The  Church  in  Nova  Scotia  had  long  been  struggling  for 
its  rights.  The  penal  laws  of  the  eighteenth  century  had 
been  applied  to  the  British  Colonies  and  as  in  the  Mother 
Country,  the  penalty  was  death  for  the  priest  who  cele- 
brated the  Holy  Sacrifice.  But  faith  grew  strong  in  spite 
of  persecution,  as  the  Catholic  population  increased  by  the 
arrival  of  emigrants  from  the  Old  World.  Converts  were 
also  brought  into  the  Church,  chiefly  by  the  labors  of  the 
zealous  and  tireless  Bishop  Lawlor,  and  the  govern- 
ment closed  its  eyes  to  the  fact  that  Catholics  were  begin- 
ning to  win  over  their  neighbors.  By  degrees  Catholicity 
began  to  be  treated  with  much  more  consideration.  To  help 
on  the  work  Bishop  Walsh,  the  successor  of  Bishop  Lawlor, 
labored  to  procure  for  his  flock  a  social  position  that  would 
give  them  an  influence  for  good  in  society,  and  on  that  ac- 
count he  assumed  the  bearing  of  one  invested  with  dignity. 
He  put  his  coat-of-arms  on  his  carriage,  and  when  govern- 
ment officers  arrived  from  England  he  paid  them  a  formal 
call  and  gave  a  banquet  in  their  honor.  The  world  then 
began  to  offer  the  prelate  the  homage  which  it  is  ever  ready 
to  lay  at  the  feet  of  the  great. 

After  a  time,  slumbering  prejudice  was  aroused.  The 
Bishop's  freedom  of  action  was  condemned,  and  a  petition 
was  sent  to  Parliament  to  prohibit  the  erection  of  Catholic 
churches  in  Nova  Scotia,  but  the  Bishop  was  determined  to 
frustrate  the  designs  of  his  enemies.  Having  planned  to 
build  a  mortuary  chapel  in  the  cemetery,  he  had  all  the 

132 


EDEN  HALL,  HALIFAX,  BUFFALO 

materials  quietly  prepared,  the  stone  dressed,  windows 
made,  and  when  all  was  ready  he  fixed  the  day  and  five  hun- 
dred mechanics  assembled  before  sunrise  to  begin  the  work. 
Even  the  women  took  part  in  the  enterprise,  for  they  cooked 
and  furnished  the  meals  for  the  laborers.  Strong  hands  and 
willing  hearts  speedily  accomplished  the  task.  Between  the 
hours  of  sunrise  and  sunset  the  modest  shrine  was  built, 
the  earth  was  carted  away,  and  the  church  was  enclosed 
by  a  strong  palisade.  It  received  the  name  of  the  "  One  Day 
Chapel."  The  dreaded  prohibition  never  arrived  and  Catho- 
lic emancipation  was  extended  to  Nova  Scotia  as  to  other 
lands  under  British  rule. 

Mother'  Hardey,  with  a  small  colony  of  her  daughters, 
arrived  in  Halifax  May  I9th,  1849.  They  were  received  by 
Bishop  Walsh  with  paternal  kindness  and  conducted  by  him 
to  the  home  prepared  for  them  in  the  beautiful  suburbs  of 
Brookside.  The  house  was  a  frame  building,  surrounded  by 
three  acres  of  land  thickly  planted  with  fruit  trees.  Every- 
thing bespoke  the  kind  thoughtfulness  of  the  Bishop.  The 
rooms  were  furnished,  the  cellar  stocked  with  provisions, 
and  a  fine  bookcase  contained  many  valuable  books.  But 
the  good  Bishop  went  further.  To  the  useful  he  added  the 
ornamental.  A  pious  picture  adorned  each  apartment,  but 
what  touched  the  hearts  of  the  religious  most  deeply  was  a 
large  painting  in  their  little  chapel,  representing  the  appa- 
rition of  Our  Lord  to  Blessed  Margaret  Mary. 

An  amusing  incident  happened  a  few  days  after  their  in- 
stallation. As  the  Bishop  in  Nova  Scotia  is  called  "  My 
Lord,"  Mother  Hardey  instructed  her  daughters  to  conform 
at  once  to  the  custom.  One  day  the  Sister  Portress  hurried 
to  her  room  and  announced  in  some  trepidation,  "  Mother, 
our  Lord  is  here !  "  Mother  Hardey,  supposing  the  Blessed 
Sacrament  had  been  brought  to  the  house,  hastened  to  the 
chapel,  but  seeing  no  one  there  she  went  towards  the  par- 
lor, where  to  her  surprise  and  amusement  she  found  the 
Bishop  awaiting  her. 


MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

Eight  days  later  Our  Lord  came  in  truth  to  take  up  His 
abode  with  this  little  family,  which  then  numbered  five 
religious,  five  boarding  pupils  and  eight  day  scholars.  As 
the  house  was  in  the  vicinity  of  a  national  fort,  the  children 
often  went  to  their  duties  to  the  sound  of  martial  music. 

Before  leaving  Halifax  Mother  Hardey  installed  Mother 
Peacock  as  superior,  and  in  words  full  of  unction  and  en- 
couragement urged  her  daughters  to  strive  to  lighten  the 
burden  of  their  new  mother  by  their  cheerful  obedience. 

On  her  return  to  Manhattanville,  she  wrote  the  follow- 
ing letter  to  Mother  Barat :  "  When  I  left  Halifax  there 
were  twenty-six  pupils  in  the  school,  six  of  them  boarders. 
All  the  expenses  were  defrayed  by  Bishop  Walsh,  who  sent 
me  the  receipts  on  the  eve  of  my  departure.  The  house  was 
furnished,  the  rent  paid,  the  traveling  expenses  returned  to 
me,  so  that  the  school  will  have  only  the  current  expenses 
to  defray.  His  Lordship's  goodness  and  generosity  are  un- 
paralleled. He  was  kind  enough  to  say  that  the  day  of  our 
entrance  into  his  diocese  was  the  happiest  day  of  his  life. 
He  was  shaving  when  the  news  of  our  arrival  reached  him ; 
throwing  aside  his  razor  he  hastened  to  the  wharf  to  meet 
us,  one  side  of  his  face  shaven,  the  other  untouched.  He 
conducted  us  to  his  own  palace,  where  we  spent  several 
hours  before  starting  for  Brookside.  The  first  ladies  of  the 
city  were  already  there  completing  arrangements  for  our 
reception,  so  the  good  Bishop  delayed  our  arrival  by  taking 
us  to  visit  the  chief  attractions  of  the  city  and  suburbs." 

Mother  Hardey's  letters  to  Mother  Peacock  are  among 
the  very  few  we  have  been  able  to  find,  as  she  required  her 
daughters  to  destroy  her  letters  whenever  she  suspected  they 
were  being  preserved.  Her  interest  in  the  new  foundation 
is  evinced  in  the  following  lines: 

"  MY  DEAR  MOTHER  : 

"  I  have  delayed  answering  your  letter  in  the  hope  of 
being  able  to  send  a  man  to  your  assistance,  but  Halifax  has 

134 


EDEN  HALL,  HALIFAX,  BUFFALO 

so  bad  a  name  that  even  Moses  seems  unwilling  to  emigrate. 
I  am  inclined  to  think,  however,  that  his  brother  Patrick, 
who  is  just  as  good  as  Moses,  will  accept  the  offer.  If  so,  he 
will  sail  with  his  wife  and  son  on  the  Cambria.  We  prefer 
keeping  the  orphan  until  our  religious  leave,  which  will  be 
in  about  a  month. 

"  10  P.M. 

"  Since  the  above  was  written,  I  have  heard  from  our 
Irish  friends.  They  cannot  leave  by  this  week's  steamer. 
Master  Pat,  the  son,  is  not  expected  to  live  until  morning. 
You  will  be  obliged  to  wait  for  your  goods,  as  I  do  not  wish 
to  send  them  except  in  the  care  of  some  trustworthy  person. 
Madame  Thompson  has  purchased  the  articles  you  desired, 
and  as  she  does  not  seem  inclined  to  charge  for  them,  I 
shall  not  insist.  All  here  are  greatly  interested  in  Halifax. 
The  altar  linen  was  given  by  ladies  and  children  expressly 
for  your  chapel.  The  candelabras  are  a  present  from  Saint 
Aloysius,  and  you  may  thank  me  for  them.  ...  I  feel 
at  times  very  uneasy,  knowing  how  much  you  have  to  do.  I 
hope  the  Heart  of  Jesus  will  watch  over  you,  and  give  you 
strength  and  courage.  We  can  expect  consolation  from 
Jesus  alone.  Let  us  apply  to  Him  in  our  difficulties.  It  is 
useless  to  seek  assistance  elsewhere. 

"  It  is  probable  we  shall  commence  building  at  Eden 
Hall  in  the  course  of  next  month.  Mr.  Edwards  is  to  give 
$3000  towards  the  church.  Here  the  Bishop  says  we  must 
have  ours  separate  from  the  addition.  It  will  be  in  the  rear 
of  the  old,  or  present,  edifice,  something  like  Bishop  Walsh's 
'  One  Day  Church.'  If  Sister  Henrietta  were  here,  instead 
of  saying  '  our  Lord  has  come ! '  she  would  tell  us,  '  our 
Lord  has  gone ! '  Our  Lord  has  gone  down  to  the  children's 
chapel.  Their  number  having  increased  with  the  heat, 
which  was  almost  intolerable  last  week,  we  were  obliged 
to  make  the  sacrifice  of  the  chapel. 

"  I  beseech  you,  dear  Mother,  write  often.  You  need  not 
take  such  pains,  nor  write  so  large  a  hand,  but  let  me 

135 


MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

hear  everything  concerning  yourself  and  your  little  family. 
.  .  .  I  hope  you  pray  for  me.  .  .  .  The  cocks  are 
crowing!  Instead  of  wishing  you  'Good  night/  I  should 
say  '  Good  morning.'  I  hope  you  will  be  able  to  read  my 
letter." 

Another  foundation  was  made  in  Buffalo  in  the  summer 
of  1849,  in  compliance  with  the  repeated  solicitations  of 
Bishop  Timon,  whose  letters  to  Mother  Barat  pictured  in 
glowing  terms  a  future  full  of  promise.  Mother  Hardey 
visited  Buffalo  with  Mother  Trincano,  who  was  destined  to 
be  the  first  superior  of  the  foundation.  They  received  hos- 
pitality from  the  Sisters  of  Charity,  and  here,  as  elsewhere, 
Mother  Hardey  left  the  most  agreeable  remembrance  of  her 
visit.  Nearly  forty  years  later  the  venerable  Sister 
Anacharia  thus  describes  her  impressions :  "  Mother  Har- 
dey appeared  to  me  the  most  perfect  type  of  a  religious  su- 
perior. At  a  glance,  one  could  see  that  she  was  born  to 
rule.  Her  queenly  bearing  and  noble  manners  were  ren- 
dered still  more  attractive  by  the  beautiful  simplicity  of 
her  amiable  virtues.  I  can  recall  yet,  word  for  word,  her  in- 
structions in  regard  to  her  meals,  on  the  evening  of  her  ar- 
rival :  '  Only  coffee  and  bread  for  breakfast,  soup  and  one 
kind  of  meat  for  dinner,  one  vegetable  and  no  dessert.'  It 
was  easy  to  divine  the  delicacy  of  her  motive,  for  we  were 
ourselves  leading  foundation  life.  Before  her  departure, 
however,  we  had  reason  to  admire  in  her  generous  gifts 
what  seemed  to  be  the  ruling  principle  of  her  life,  that  it  is 
more  blessed  to  give  than  to  receive." 

These  two  foundations,  of  Halifax  and  Buffalo,  made 
heavy  demands  on  the  community  of  Manhattanville,  as 
fifteen  of  the  members  left  for  the  new  missions,  and  hence 
we  read  in  the  Journal  of  the  house :  "  The  loss  of  so  many 
of  our  sisters  leaves  a  void  in  our  ranks  not  easy  to  fill. 
What  sacrifices  on  both  sides!  We  who  remain  must  de- 
vote ourselves  more  than  ever  to  a  life  of  abnegation  and 
labor,  while  for  those  who  have  left  us,  the  pain  of  separa- 

136 


EDEN  HALL,  HALIFAX,  BUFFALO 

tion  is  sweetened  by  the  desire  of  making  the  Heart  of  Jesus 
known  and  loved  in  other  parts  of  our  dear  America." 

The  Manhattanville  school  was  meanwhile  rapidly  grow- 
ing in  numbers,  so  that  a  new  chapel  and  additional  accom- 
modations became  indispensable.  "  The  Clemency  of  God," 
says  St.  Catherine  of  Sienna,  "  becomes  the  servant  of  those 
who  put  their  trust  in  Him ! "  Mother  Hardey's  life  is  a 
confirmation  of  the  truth  of  these  words.  The  buildings 
were  begun,  and  the  chapel  was  completed  in  the  spring 
of  1850.  On  Easter  Monday  a  memorable  ceremony  took 
place  in  this  beautiful  sanctuary.  Madame  Alicia  Dunne 
and  her  sister  Margaret  knelt  before  the  altar,  the  former 
to  pronounce  her  first  vows,  the  latter  to  receive  the  white 
veil.  A  large  number  of  relatives  and  friends  were  present. 
Bishop  McCloskey,  Fathers  Starrs,  Loughlin,  and  several 
other  eminent  ecclesiastics  were  in  the  sanctuary,  while 
Archbishop  Hughes  made  the  occasion  doubly  memorable 
by  an  eloquent  discourse  in  vindication  of  the  monastic 
state.  He  congratulated  the  happy  sisters,  whom  he  com- 
pared to  Martha  and  Mary,  the  younger  having  received,  as 
it  were,  from  the  elder,  the  glad  tidings,  "  The  Master  has 
come  and  calleth  for  thee."  "  It  has  been  said,"  continued  the 
Bishop,  "  that  you  are  selfish  and  cold-hearted,  that  it  would 
have  been  better  for  you  to  have  remained  in  the  world,  to 
improve  it  by  your  influence  and  example,  and  the  exercise 
of  various  deeds  of  Christian  charity.  I  answer,  for  your 
justification,  are  you  not  devoting  yourselves  to  the  welfare 
of  the  world?  Are  you  not  to  be  engaged  in  planting  the 
seeds  of  virtue  and  knowledge  in  the  hearts  and  minds  of 
future  mistresses  of  home  and  society,  which  will  be  all  the 
better  for  the  training  given  by  the  silent  hidden  inmates  of 
the  cloister?  They  accuse  you  of  ingratitude  to  your  friends. 
The  accusation  is  false.  Is  it  not  religion  that  touches 
friendship  with  its  heavenly  flame,  and  makes  it  pure  by 
cleansing  it  from  the  jealousy  and  self-gratification  that 
enter  into  worldly  affection?" 

137 


MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

His  Grace  then  made  a  comparison  between  the  phan- 
toms of  pleasure  that  delude  the  votaries  of  the  world  and 
the  unsullied  joys  that  delight  the  religious,  who  daily  im- 
bibes truth  at  the  fountains  of  Holy  Writ,  and  in  meditation 
and  prayer  gazes  upon  the  infinite  beauty  of  God.     In  an- 
swer to  the  world's  question, "  Can  nuns  be  happy  ?  "  he  went 
on  to  say :   "  I  venture  to  assert  that  the  very  persons  who 
ask  that  question  are  themselves  writhing  under  the  sting 
of  hidden  anguish,  trying  to  conceal  the  canker  worm  that  is 
preying  upon  their  own  hearts.    Again,  the  world  exclaims : 
'  How  dreadful  if  they  should  hereafter  regret  this  step ! 
They  cannot  leave ;  they  are  bound  by  vows.'     Permit  me 
to  ask  whether  marriage  is  not  a  vow.    Does  it  not  bind  you 
to  a  comparative  stranger?    And  where  did  you  make  your 
novitiate?     Where  did  you  study  the  character,  habits  and 
qualities  of  the  individual  selected  to  be  the  partner  of  your 
life?    How  many  have  taken  two  years  to  reflect  upon  the 
anticipated  step  ?     Some  take  only  a  few  months,  others  less 
time,  yet  no  one  thinks  of  inquiring,  'Are  you  happy?' 
Those  who  ask  this  question  concerning  nuns  have  not  the 
heart  to  understand  the  joys  of  religious  life.     Let  history 
bear  testimony  to  the  truth.    During  the  French  Revolution 
the  soldiers  forced  open  the  doors  of  convents,  thinking  they 
were  performing  an  act  of  mercy  by  giving  a  happy  release 
to  the  poor  starving  captives.     The  doors  stood  ajar,  but 
the  inmates  fled  like  frightened   doves  around   the  altar, 
clinging  to  the  pillars  of  the  sanctuary  until  forced  away  by 
bayonets.     If  the  marriage  vow  were  loosened,  how  many 
such  doves  would  there  be?    The  frequent  application  for 
divorce  gives  answer.    Yet  people  pity  the  inmates  of  re- 
ligious houses  and  ask,  '  Are  they  happy?  ' ' 

Having  dwelt  at  length  upon  the  contrast  between  the 
life  of  the  secular  and  that  of  the  religious,  the  Archbishop 
concluded  by  congratulating  the  happy  sisters  on  having 
severed  the  ties  which  bound  them  to  the  things  of  this 
world,  to  devote  themselves  without  reserve  to  the  glory  of 

138 


EDEN  HALL,  HALIFAX,  BUFFALO 

the  Heart  of  Jesus  and  the  good  of  souls.  This  day  of  joy 
for  Mother  Hardey  and  her  daughters  was  followed  by  dis- 
tressing news  from  Halifax.  Scarlet  fever  had  broken  out 
in  the  school  and  carried  off  two  of  the  children.  Physicians 
pronounced  the  place  unhealthy.  The  pupils  were  dispersed. 
Brookside  was  abandoned  and  the  community  was  trans- 
ferred to  another  location  purchased  by  Bishop  Walsh  to 
be  their  future  home.  There  were  two  small  cottages  on 
the  grounds,  and  in  these  the  religious  started  the  school 
again  until  the  erection  of  the  new  academy.  Mother  Har- 
dey wrote  at  once  the  following  sympathetic  letter  to 
Mother  Peacock: 

"  MY  DEAR  MOTHER  : 

"  It  would  be  difficult  for  me  to  express  what  I  felt  on 
the  receipt  of  your  last  letter,  containing  the  news  of  the 
death  of  your  dear  little  Eleanor.  I  tried  to  flatter  myself 
that  it  was  one  of  her  cousins  who  had  been  taken,  not  the 
promising  child  whom  I  had  the  happiness  of  offering  to 
Our  Divine  Lord  at  the  opening  of  Brookside.  There  is  one 
consolation,  dear  Mother,  that  the  first  and  choicest  fruits 
of  your  school  were  culled  by  the  Heart  of  Jesus.  Both 
dear  children  will  be  your  powerful  intercessors  before  the 
throne  of  God.  Offer  to  the  afflicted  and  Christian  parents 
my  sincere  sympathy,  for  the  sacrifice  of  such  children 
requires  more  than  ordinary  courage.  We  have  been  pray- 
ing for  you  also,  dear  Mother,  that  you  may  receive  strength 
to  bear  the  Cross  generously.  .  .  .  You  did  perfectly 
right  to  move  and  to  presume  my  approval  without  waiting 
for  an  answer.  This  you  must  always  do  in  like  emergen- 
cies. Say  to  his  Lordship  that  I  am  extremely  sorry  to  be 
unable  to  assist  you  in  defraying  the  expenses  of  your  new 
abode.  We  have  been  obliged  to  borrow  money  at  7  per 
cmt.,  and  at  this  moment  a  note  of  $4000  is  due,  and  I  can- 
not tell  where  I  shall  get  the  money.  Mr.  Hargous  has  com- 
menced a  railroad  to  the  Pacific  which  has  drained  his  purse, 

139 


MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

otherwise  there  would  be  no  difficulty.  I  think  it  would  be 
well  to  give  up  Brookside  altogether,  if  the  opinion  prevails 
that  it  is  the  seat  of  the  disease.  You  must,  of  course,  con- 
sult your  friends.  They  are  your  best  advisers,  and  I  am 
inclined  to  think  it  a  prudent  measure.  What  a  blessing 
that  this  property  could  not  be  purchased.  I  can  say  no 
more  to-day,  except  to  assure  you,  dear  Mother,  that  you 
are  ever  present  to  my  mind.  Please  let  me  hear  from  you 
as  frequently  as  possible.  His  Lordship  shall  have  a  letter." 
During  the  course  of  this  year,  1850,  Mother  Hardey 
,was  made  very  happy  by  the  return  to  the  Faith  of  two 
young  ladies  who  had  awakened  her  deepest  interest.  Left 
orphans  at  an  early  age,  Sarah  and  Eustace  Tracey  had  been 
brought  up  by  Protestant  relatives,  and  consequently  in- 
duced to  abandon  the  Faith  in  which  they  had  been  bap- 
tized. Having  entered  the  school  at  Manhattanville,  Sarah, 
the  elder,  became  a  Catholic.  A  struggle  arose  between 
her  conscience  and  her  early  prejudices,  but  Mother  Har- 
dey's  wise  counsels  and  tender  sympathy  sustained  her 
in  the  conflict.  Yielding  at  last  to  her  convictions,  she 
begged  to  make  her  confession.  The  Sacrament  of  Penance 
filled  her  soul  with  a  joy  she  had  never  known  before. 
"  Who  can  express,"  she  exclaimed,  "  the  wondrous  power 
of  those  three  words,  '  Ego  te  absolve!'  (I  absolve  thee). 
How  they  have  lightened  my  heart  of  its  burden  and  filled 
it  with  peace  and  happiness."  After  her  First  Communion, 
Sarah  returned  home,  where  her  beautiful  example  soon  in- 
fluenced her  sister.  A  few  months  later  Eustace  wrote  to 
Mother  Hardey :  "  I  try  to  be  good  and  faithful  to  the  advice 
you  gave  me,  but  I  can  never  equal  Sarah.  She  makes  a  medi- 
tation every  day,  and  in  all  circumstances  is  most  edifying." 
In  concluding,  she  expressed  the  desire  to  spend  Holy  Week 
at  the  convent,  but  her  last  word  was  an  acknowledgment 
that  she  was  still  far  from  entering  the  Church.  During  her 
visit  at  Manhattanville  she  again  proposed  to  Mother  Har- 
dey the  same  doubts  that  had  perplexed  her  at  school.  The 

140 


EDEN  HALL,  HALIFAX,  BUFFALO 

patient  Mother  listened  long  and  attentively,  as  if  she  had 
never  heard  the  story  before.  Seeing  that  this  soul  was 
trifling  with  grace,  she  said  gently,  but  firmly,  "  Eustace, 
confession  is  your  stumbling  block.  Prepare  yourself  at 
once,  for  I  will  not  let  you  leave  here  until  you  have  made 
your  peace  with  God."  Light  and  strength  came  with  these 
words  to  the  soul  of  the  young  girl,  who,  like  her  sister,  soon 
found  in  the  life  giving  sacraments  the  fullness  of  joy  and 
peace. 

While  occupied  in  doing  good  to  the  souls  which  Divine 
Providence  brought  under  her  personal  influence,  Mother 
Hardey  continued  her  mission  of  comforter  to  those  who 
looked  to  her  for  help  in  the  hour  of  need.  In  another  letter 
to  Mother  Peacock,  she  says :  "  I  feel  deeply  the  Cross 
which  it  has  pleased  our  Lord  to  send  to  you,  though  it  may 
be  a  blessing  for  the  house,  as  it  was  for  the  dear  innocent 
child  who  was  called  to  her  eternal  home  before  sin  sullied 
her  soul.  She  will  no  doubt  pray  for  those  who  taught  her 
to  love  the  Sacred  Heart  of  Jesus.  .  .  .  Trials  of  this 
kind  may  cause  the  parents  to  withdraw  their  children  for  a 
while,  but,  believe  me,  they  will  never  cause  the  ruin  of  a 
house  in  which  God  is  faithfully  served.  I  regret  sincerely 
having  disappointed  you  and  his  Lordship  in  regard  to  the 
pecuniary  aid  you  asked.  I  really  did  not  mean  that  you 
should  not  have  the  few  hundred  dollars  needed  at  the  pres- 
ent moment,  but  that  for  the  next  two  years  I  could  give 
nothing  more.  How  could  it  be  possible  for  me  to  lend  you 
money,  when  we  have  had  to  raise  $6000  at  7  per  cent.?  As 
I  mentioned  in  my  last  letter,  if  we  succeed  in  finding  a  good 
purchaser  for  our  '  twelve  acres '  we  shall  be  able  to  assist 
you  at  once,  but  not  otherwise.  His  Lordship's  telegram 
never  came  to  hand.  I  have  had  only  one  and  that  concern- 
ing the  purchase.  I  am  delighted  to  hear  that  you  have  re- 
ceived a  letter  from  our  saintly  Mother  General.  What  will 
you  give  me  if  I  send  you  her  portrait,  or,  rather,  for  having 
sent  it  to  you?  As  for  the  altar  linen,  I  have  received 

141 


MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

none  for  you  nor  for  any  one  else.  I  fear  your  box  has  been 
lost.  Pray  to  St.  Anthony.  You  shall  have  everything  that 
has  been  destined  for  your  pet  foundation,  though  I  should 
say  my  pet,  for  so  it  is  generally  called  by  the  Buffalo  nuns. 
Deeply  interested  as  I  am  in  your  establishment,  I  must 
confess  that  I  am  equally  so  in  all  the  others.  I  do  not  nor 
did  I  ever  understand  the  spirit  of  partiality. 

"  If  my  last  letter  has  not  been  received,  you  are  not 
aware  of  my  sister's  arrival  from  Louisiana.  Mother  Cutts 
was  kind  enough  to  let  Bishop  Timon  have  her  for  his  foun- 
dation, on  condition  that  I  would  send  some  one  to  take  her 
place.  Before  I  can  authorize  the  use  of  the  History  of  Eng- 
land please  send  me  a  copy,  that  we  may  judge  of  its 
merits,  for,  as  you  are  aware,  no  book  can  be  introduced  into 
the  school  unless  approved.  I  shall  have  the  arithmetic  ex- 
amined and  give  you  the  answer.  I  would  say,  however,  as 
Madame  Tenbroeck  remarked,  it  cannot  be  the  best,  since  it 
is  not  known  in  the  States. 

"  I  have  a  favor  to  ask,  dear  Mother.  It  is  this :  Please 
spare  my  eyes  and  not  your  paper.  Do  not  cross  your  writ- 
ing any  more.  I  will  send  you  a  quire  of  paper  if  needed. 

"  Pray  for  me  and  believe  me  ever  in  C.  J., 

"  A.  HARDEY,  R.S.C.J." 


142 


CHAPTER  XIV. 

FOUNDATION  OF  THE  ACADEMY  AND  ORPHANAGE  IN  DETROIT — 
MOTHER  HARDEY  ATTENDS  THE  COUNCIL  OF  1851 — FOUN- 
DATION IN  ALBANY — CHOLERA  IN  BUFFALO — DEATH 
OF   MOTHER   DUCHESNE — 1851-1852. 

Among  all  the  foundations  which  had  been  organized  by 
Mother  Hardey,  there  is  probably  none  more  interesting  in 
its  history  nor  more  harassed  by  perplexing  difficulties  than 
that  of  Detroit.  Its  origin  may  be  traced  to  the  desire 
burning  in  the  heart  of  a  zealous  missionary,  Rev.  Gabriel 
Richard,  who  had  traveled  with  Mother  Duchesne  and 
her  companions  from  New  Orleans  to  Saint  Louis 
in  1818.  Their  heroic  courage  and  enthusiastic  longing  to 
make  the  Heart  of  Jesus  known  and  loved  in  the  New  World 
produced  a  deep  impression  upon  the  man  of  God  and  in- 
spired him  with  the  hope  of  seeing  them  share  in  his  labors 
in  the  untilled  fields  of  the  Great  Northwest.  He  was  never 
weary  of  telling  his  people  in  Detroit  of  the  brave  women 
with  whom  he  had  traveled,  whose  love  for  the  Sacred  Heart 
of  Jesus  and  the  salvation  of  souls  made  them  ready  for 
every  sacrifice.  Among  those  who  inherited  his  desire  to 
see  a  convent  of  the  Sacred  Heart  in  Detroit  were  Mr.  and 
Mrs.  Beaubien,  French  Canadians,  possessed  of  a  large  for- 
tune and  full  of  zeal  for  the  interests  of  religion,  who,  after 
having  lost  their  only  child,  saw  in  this  affliction  a  special 
design  of  Providence,  in  wishing  them  to  be  father  and 
mother  to  the  orphans  and  friends  to  the  poor.  In  order  to 
carry  out  their  designs,  they  resolved  to  secure  the  services 
of  the  Religious  of  the  Sacred  Heart,  and  in  1849  tnev  made 
application  to  Mother  Hardey,  offering  a  fine  property  for 
an  academy,  on  condition  that  a  specified  number  of  orphan 
girls  should  be  supported  and  educated.  Having  obtained 
the  consent  of  Mother  Barat  to  this  proposal,  Mother  Har- 

M3 


MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

(ley  completed  the  final  arrangements  in  April,  1851,  and  on 
the  i/th  of  May  Mother  Trincano  and  her  four  companions 
arrived  in  Detroit  and  were  enthusiastically  received  by 
their  kind  benefactors  in  their  own  home.  When  they  en- 
tered the  house  they  found  the  parlor  ablaze  with  lights, 
and  grouped  around  an  improvised  altar  of  the  Blessed  Vir- 
gin the  relatives  and  friends  of  the  family,  waiting  to  join  in 
the  hymn  of  thanksgiving.  Mother  Trincano  was  asked  to 
intone  the  Magnificat,  but  scarcely  had  the  singing  ceased 
when  Mrs.  Beaubien  exclaimed :  "  That's  what  I  call  Latin 
singing !  In  the  Church  I  could  never  understand  what  they 
were  saying,  but  I  have  understood  you !  Mary  is  indeed 
triumphant !  It  is  during  her  month  that  these  good  Sisters 
have  come,  and  I  tell  you,  Antoine,  if  the  devil  has  any 
horns  left  they  must  be  very  short  now !  " 

On  the  Feast  of  the  Sacred  Heart  the  religious  and  their 
benefactors  assisted  at  a  very  fine  sermon  on  devotion  to  the 
Sacred  Heart.  While  the  discourse  was  being  delivered, 
Mrs.  Beaubien  made  a  running  commentary  on  the  speak- 
er's words.  "  Yes,  thanks  to  these  good  Sisters,  the  fire 
burns !  It  is  you,"  she  said  to  Mother  Trincano,  "  who  have 
kindled  the  flame.  The  devotion  to  the  Sacred  Heart  re- 
mained hidden  under  the  ashes  ever  since  the  death  of 
Father  Richard.  I  told  the  people,  and  the  Bishop,  too,  that 
nothing  could  be  done  until  the  good  French  Sisters  would 
come  to  spread  devotion  to  the  Sacred  Heart." 

As  the  house  destined  for  the  religious  was  not  ready,  a 
temporary  one  was  rented  in  order  that  the  orphanage  and 
school  might  be  opened  without  delay,  but  in  spite  of  the 
good  intentions  of  the  founders  the  religious  suffered  great 
privations.  The  necessities  of  life  were  often  wanting  to 
them,  for  their  benefactors  sometimes  forgot  their  promises 
to  them  to  provide  for  their  needs  until  an  adequate  number 
of  pupils  should  enable  them  to  support  themselves.  How- 
ever, the  excellent  dispositions  of  the  orphans  and  the  wide 
field  of  usefulness  opened  to  them  compensated  for  every- 

144 


ACADEMY  AND  ORPHANAGE  IN  DETROIT 

thing.  While  their  pupils  were  daily  increasing  in  numbers, 
a  storm  was  gathering  which  threatened  to  destroy  the  mis- 
sion. The  Beaubien  heirs  protested  against  the  right  of 
Mr.  and  Mrs.  Beaubien  to  alienate  their  property  in  favor 
of  the  Sacred  Heart,  and  they  instituted  a  lawsuit  against 
them  and  the  convent.  When  Mother  Hardey  was  apprised 
of  the  litigation  she  consulted  her  friend  and  legal  adviser, 
Mr.  Charles  O'Conor,  then  the  most  distinguished  lawyer 
in  New  York.  He  recognized  the  difficulties  of  the  case,  and 
after  much  unsatisfactory  correspondence  on  the  subject, 
announced  to  Mother  Hardey  his  intention  of  going  to  De- 
troit, an  offer  which,  through  delicacy,  she  declined,  know- 
ing the  loss  his  own  interests  might  sustain  by  a  prolonged 
absence,  but  Mr.  O'Conor  answered  with  characteristic 
brevity,  "  I  need  a  vacation  and  I  shall  take  it  in  Detroit !  " 
After  considerable  research  he  found  that,  according  to  the 
laws  of  Michigan,  the  act  of  donation  was  null.  He  drew 
up  another  paper,  but  neither  explanations  nor  entreaties 
could  induce  Mr.  Beaubien  to  sign  it.  His  obstinacy  was 
conquered,  however,  by  the  piety  and  perseverance  of  his 
wife.  It  was  most  amusing  to  hear  Mother  Hardey  relate 
how  the  victory  was  gained.  "  One  day,"  she  said,  "  Mrs. 
Beaubien  took  me  to  her  home,  for  the  purpose  of  persuad- 
ing her  husband  to  sign  the  document.  The  carriage  had 
scarcely  started  than  her  '  Ave  Marias  '  began.  Having  for- 
gotten her  beads,  she  counted  her  Aves  on  her  fingers,  press- 
ing them  in  turn  upon  her  breast,  but  keeping  her  mind  all 
the  time  fixed  upon  the  object  of  her  prayers.  She  thought 
and  prayed  aloud,  and  the  combination  was  something  like 
this :  '  Hail,  Mary,  full  of  grace — O  Mother,  we  forgot 
that  important  point — the  Lord  is  with  thee — I  must  say 
this  to  Mr.  Beaubien — blessed  art  thou  among  women — 
there  is  another  point  to  be  remembered — and  blessed  is  the 
fruit — we  must  not  lose  this  grand  opportunity  of  procuring 
the  glory  of  God.'  And  thus  her  Hail  Marys  continued  until 
the  end  of  the  drive." 

10  145 


MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

When  they  met  Mr.  Beaubien  he  was  greeted  with  this 
naive  apostrophe  :  "  Antoine,  how  foolish  you  are  !  Do  you 
not  see  that  it  is  to  the  Heart  of  Jesus  we  are  giving  our 
property,  and  that  we  could  not  dispose  of  it  in  a  better 
way?  I  shall  require  Him  to  observe  the  conditions.  If  He 
refuses,  that  is  His  affair!  He  is  our  security.  O  you  fool- 
ish man !  Do  you  want  these  good  Sisters  to  be  tormented 
after  our  death  ?  When  a  thing  is  to  be  done,  let  it  be  done 
in  the  right  way.  How  glad  we  should  be  that  this  good 
lawyer  discovered  the  flaw.  That  shows  his  cleverness. 
Our  antagonists  think  they  will  have  their  own  way  when 
we  are  gone.  But  I  know  how  to  catch  them.  Let  us  sign 
the  deed  and  keep  the  matter  secret.  They  will  think  we 
are  both  very  stupid,  and  when  they  try  to  oust  these  good 
Sisters,  they  will  show  the  paper,  and  then  won't  they  be 
furious !  Don't  you  see,  Antoine,  we  are  doing  this  for  the 
good  Jesus  and  for  no  one  else?"  Such  arguments  were 
irresistible. 

When  the  old  couple  were  asked  separately  by  the  court 
whether  they  had  been  influenced  to  sign  the  deed,  "  I  would 
like  to  see  any  one  influence  me,"  said  Mrs.  Baubien.  "  Mr. 
Lawyer,  I  have  done  my  own  will  since  I  came  into  this 
world,  and  it  is  with  my  whole  heart  that  I  make  over  this 
property  to  the  Society  of  the  Sacred  Heart  of  Jesus." 

This  good  lady,  whose  honest  expressions  were  the  out- 
pourings of  a  generous  heart,  usually  found  her  husband 
willing  to  co-operate  in  her  charitable  undertakings,  and  if 
persuasions  were  needed,  we  have  seen  how  perfectly  she 
had  acquired  the  art  of  bringing  his  will  into  harmony  with 
her  own. 

Having  settled  the  difficulties  in  Detroit,  Mother  Har- 
dey  returned  to  Manhattanville  to  prepare  for  her  approach- 
ing departure  for  Paris,  whither  she  had  been  summoned  to 
attend  the  Seventh  General  Council  of  the  Society.  She 
sailed  on  the  3d  of  October,  1851,  accompanied  by  Mother 
Cutts  and  Mother  Sallion  and  Madame  Margaret  Dunne, 

146 


ACADEMY  AND  ORPHANAGE  IN  DETROIT 

the  young  novice  already  mentioned.  This  Council  had 
been  convened  in  1842,  but  for  reasons  given  in  a  preceding 
chapter  the  Mother  General  was  obliged  to  adjourn  it  in- 
definitely. Two  years  later  she  made  another  attempt  to 
assemble  the  members,  and  again  in  1848,  but  the  political 
agitations  preceding  the  downfall  of  the  French  monarchy 
obliged  her  to  defer  it  indefinitely.  Finally,  when  in  1851 
she  summoned  the  provincial  superiors,  the  crisis  was  pend- 
ing which  converted  the  second  republic  into  the  second 
empire.  Convinced  that  Paris  would  be  the  chief  theatre 
of  the  approaching  revolution,  Mother  Barat  decided  to  hold 
the  meeting  in  Lyons.  It  was  one  of  the  most  important 
Councils  of  the  Society.  It  provided  for  the  promulgation 
of  a  decree  issued  by  the  Holy  Father  May  23,  1851,  in 
answer  to  a  petition  from  the  Mother  General,  which  placed, 
as  it  were,  the  last  seal  upon  the  Constitutions  and  govern- 
ment of  the  Society.  The  Superior  General  was  henceforth 
to  be  assisted  in  the  administration  of  the  general  govern- 
ment by  superiors  chosen  to  share  her  authority  and  execute 
her  plans  for  the  welfare  of  the  Institute.  According  to  the 
wish  of  His  Holiness,  the  words  vicar  and  vicariates  were 
to  be  substituted  for  provincal  and  provinces,  terms 
hitherto  in  use.  The  Society,  numbering  at  that  time  sixty- 
five  houses,  was  organized  into  ten  vicariates,  eight  in 
Europe  and  two  in  America.  The  convents  in  the  Western 
and  Southern  States  were  confided  to  the  care  of  Mother 
Cutts,  and  those  in  the  Northern  States  and  Canada  to 
Mother  Hardey.  It  was  also  decided  that  a  representative 
of  the  Mother  General  should  be  sent  to  visit  the  American 
houses.  Mother  du  Rousier,  the  religious  appointed  as 
visitatrix,  was  provincial  in  Piedmont  when  the  Religious 
of  the  Sacred  Heart  were  banished  on  the  absurd  charge  of 
having  favored  the  Austrian  power.  She  had  gone  through 
the  perils  of  the  revolution  of  1848,  had  enjoyed  the  honor 
of  being  caricatured  on  the  stage  in  Turin  and  of  being 
burned  in  effigy  on  the  public  squares  by  the  enemies  of 

147 


MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

faith  and  of  the  Religious  Orders.  On  leaving  Turin  she 
was  appointed  Mistress  General  of  the  Paris  school,  and  it 
was  while  exercising  the  duties  of  her  charge  that  she  was 
selected  by  Mother  Barat  for  her  important  mission. 

After  the  council  in  Lyons,  Mother  Hardey  returned  to 
Paris,  where  she  enjoyed  the  consolation  of  the  wise  coun- 
sels and  familiar  conversation  of  Mother  Barat  for  several 
weeks,  and  these  restful  days  prepared  her  soul  for  the  years 
of  toil  and  sacrifice  that  were  awaiting  her,  while  they  ren- 
dered still  more  painful  the  parting  hour.  "  The  day  before, 
our  departure,"  writes  Madame  Margaret  Dunne,  "  I  was 
helping  Reverend  Mother  to  pack  the  trunks.  Several  of 
the  Mothers  came  to  her  room  to  say  '  Good-bye,'  To  my 
surprise,  I  saw  tears  in  her  eyes,  for  it  was  unusual  for  her 
to  show  emotion.  When  alone  with  her  I  ventured  to  ask : 
'  Mother,  why  do  you  weep?  Do  you  not  wish  to  go  home? 
You  know  how  much  your  own  children  love  you  and  long 
for  your  return ! '  She  looked  at  me  sadly  and  said :  '  My 
child,  you  are  only  beginning  your  religious  life,  but  if  you 
live  long  enough  you  will  learn  how  terrible  is  the  burden 
of  responsibility.  If  I  could  be  freed  from  it,  how  gladly 
would  I  obey ! '  The  next  morning  we  went  to  the  little 
tribune  where  our  venerable  Mother  Foundress  was  making 
her  meditation,  to  ask  her  blessing  on  our  journey.  She 
took  Reverend  Mother  aside,  talked  to  her  for  some  mo- 
ments, and  when  she  clasped  Reverend  Mother  in  her  arms 
the  latter  sobbed  as  though  her  heart  would  break." 

Mother  Hardey  gives  an  account  of  the  voyage  across 
the  Atlantic  in  a  letter  to  Mother  Barat,  dated  March  i, 
1852: 

"  MY  VENERATED  MOTHER  : 

"  Here  we  are  in  sight  of  land,  so  I  hasten  to  give  you 
the  assurance  of  our  safe  journey,  thanks  to  the  prayers  that 
have  been  offered,  though  we  have  not  escaped  either  storms 
or  accidents.  Our  Lord  permitted  the  tempest  to  rage,  but 

148 


ACADEMY  AND  ORPHANAGE  IN  DETROIT 

not  to  harm  us,  for  He  was  watching  over  us.  For  the  rirst 
few  days  Mother  Cutts  and  I  were  the  only  ones  of  our 
party  able  to  be  on  deck.  Mother  Gajal  was  stretched  upon 
her  berth,  expecting  death  at  any  moment !  Life  and  en- 
ergy, however,  returned  to  her  and  all  the  others,  but  just 
as  we  were  beginning  to  enjoy  the  ocean  breeze  the  steamer 
suddenly  stopped,  in  consequence  of  the  fracture  of  the  ma- 
chinery, and  we  had  the  prospect  of  several  days  delay  with- 
out moving  and  the  remainder  of  the  voyage  to  be  made 
with  only  one  engine.  This  was  not  very  encouraging  news 
for  us,  for  besides  the  delay  we  knew  our  sailing  would 
be  dangerous.  While  repairs  were  being  made  we  resolved 
to  do  our  duty  by  prayer  and  mortification.  We  began  a 
novena  as  a  preparation  for  the  Month  of  Saint  Joseph,  and 
promised  greater  fidelity  to  the  preparation  and  fulfillment 
of  our  spiritual  exercises  during  the  remainder  of  the  jour- 
ney. In  a  few  hours  the  vessel  started  again  and  the  next 
day  the  repairs  were  finished.  One  of  the  priests  on  board 
declared  that  St.  Joseph  had  done  the  work.  We  offered 
our  grateful  thanksgiving  to  the  dear  Saint.  But  this  mis- 
hap was  only  the  forerunner  of  another  more  dangerous  in- 
cident. We  met  the  equinoctial  storm,  and  for  forty-eight 
hours  we  experienced  all  the  horrors  of  an  angry  sea.  The 
waves  dashed  over  the  deck  at  each  moment,  the  bridge 
was  washed  away,  and  one  of  the  passengers  was  caught 
by  the  wind  and  pitched  to  the  other  side  of  the  vessel, 
where  the  sailors  rescued  him  from  a  watery  grave.  Our 
little  band,  left  alone  in  our  cabin  tried  to  find  calm  and  res- 
ignation in  prayer  and  confidence,  since  Jesus  was  not 
asleep,  but  was  watching  over  us  and  for  us." 

In  conclusion  she  says :  "  My  very  Rev.  Mother,  your 
words  and  your  counsels  were  often  the  subject  of  our  con- 
versation. They  are  engraven  upon  our  hearts,  and  we 
promise  you  they  will  be  reproduced  in  our  future  con- 
duct." 

On  the  third  of  March,  the  glad  sounds  of  the  convent 

149 


MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

bell  announced  Mother  Hardey's  arrival  at  Manhattanville. 
Her  return  was  an  occasion  of  great  happiness  to  the  pupils 
as  well  as  to  her  daughters.  All  felt  the  joy  of  her  presence, 
and  as  one  of  the  religious  writes,  "  A  sense  of  security 
came  over  us  which  we  did  not  experience  when  our  Mother 
was  away." 

During  her  absence  in  France,  Mother  Hardey  had  been 
replaced  at  Manhattanville  by  Mother  Tucker,  the  Superior 
of  Eden  Hall.  The  latter  though  fearless  in  actual  danger 
was  prone  to  apprehend  it,  when  acting  for  another.  A 
storm,  an  accident,  the  probability  of  robbers,  even  the  bark- 
ing of  the  dog  at  night,  caused  her  alarm.  The  night  after 
Mother  Hardey's  return  the  dogs  kept  up  incessant  bark- 
ing. One  of  the  religious  awoke  Mother  Tucker  to  inquire 
what  was  to  be  done.  The  good  mother,  aroused  from  a 
deep  sleep,  merely  answered,  "  Let  them  bark,  Mother  is  at 
home."  This  little  incident,  though  in  itself  trifling,  shows 
how  Mother  Hardey's  presence  was  considered  a  safeguard 
from  every  danger. 

Immediately  on  her  return  she  occupied  herself  with 
preparations  for  a  foundation  of  the  Society  in  Al- 
bany. She  rented  a  house  on  Pearl  Street,  opposite  the 
most  flourishing  Protestant  Academy  in  the  city.  Madame 
Jennings  was  made  superior,  but  she  and  her  little  band  of 
religious  were  surrounded  by  neighbors,  who,  at  first,  found 
it  impossible  to  appreciate  or  understand  monastic  life.  For 
instance,  a  lady  kindly  disposed  sent  them  a  note  of  invita- 
tion to  a  social  gathering.  The  letter  was  addressed  to 
"  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Sacred  Heart."  Of  course,  the  invitation 
was  not  accepted.  The  most  prejudiced  held  aloof  alto- 
gether, and  the  curious  came  to  obtain  information.  Among 
the  latter  was  a  well  educated  gentleman,  who  remarked 
on  meeting  the  superior,  "  Madame,  I  suppose  it  is  all  the 
same  whether  I  address  myself  to  you  or  to  your  husband." 
The  situation  was  amusing,  but  Mother  Jennings,  repress- 
ing her  laughter,  availed  herself  of  the  opportunity  to  ex- 
ISO 


ACADEMY  AND  ORPHANAGE  IN  DETROIT 

plain  to  her  visitor  the  nature  and  obligations  of  religious 
life,  which  so  pleased  and  satisfied  him  that  he  became  one 
of  the  most  loyal  friends  and  benefactors  of  the  convent. 

Mention  is  made  in  the  annals  of  the  house  of  the  pater- 
nal kindness  of  Bishop  McCloskey.  "  Our  saintly  prel- 
ate," we  read,  "  is  the  father  and  protector  of  our  little 
family.  Hardly  a  day  passes  without  a  visit  from  him.  He 
is  our  ordinary  confessor,  and  in  his  weekly  conferences  he 
stimulates  us  to  fervor  in  the  accomplishment  of  the  duties 
of  our  holy  vocation.  His  vicar  general  leaves  nothing  un- 
done to  promote  our  prosperity."  We  may  add,  in  passing, 
that  Mother  Hardey  gained  in  the  Rev.  J.  J.  Conroy,  then 
vicar  general,  one  of  the  truest  friends  the  Society  has  ever 
known. 

Another  extract  alludes  to  the  happiness  of  their  family 
life.  "  Rev.  Father  Wadhams,  who  called  here  yesterday, 
made  this  remark :  '  Do  you  know  why  I  take  pleasure  in 
coming  to  the  Sacred  Heart?  It  is  because  the  very  at- 
mosphere of  the  house  breathes  peace  and  interior  joy. 
You  appear  to  be  so  united  and  happy ! ' :  It  was  this 
spirit  which  was  fostered  by  letters  from  Mother  Hardey. 
We  quote  the  following,  addressed  to  Madame  Margaret 
Dunne,  who  was  one  of  the  little  band  of  foundresses : 
"  MY  DEAR  CHILD  : 

"  I  think  of  you  very  often  when  I  am  near  the  Tab- 
ernacle, but  especially  while  making  the  Holy  Hour  during 
this  privileged  month,  so  dear  to  the  Spouse  of  the  Sacred 
Heart.  I  have  asked  our  Divine  Master  to  draw  you  so 
closely  to  Himself,  that  you  will  love  Him  alone.  But  in 
order  to  reach  this  happy  state  you  must  study  the  amiable 
perfections  of  that  Adorable  Heart,  for  we  cannot  love  that 
which  we  do  not  know,  and,  as  Father  Barelle  says,  '  It  is 
because  we  study  Our  Lord  superficially  that  we  love  Him 
so  little.'  Let  the  thought  of  our  Good  Master  be  continu- 
ally before  your  mind,  so  that  you  will  always  consider 
how  He  would  act  in  like  circumstances.  For  example, 

151 


MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

when  you  are  teaching,  represent  Him  to  yourself  as  a 
Teacher.  What  patience,  what  sweetness  in  His  voice  and 
manner!  No  harsh  words  pass  His  Divine  Lips,  no  cross 
looks,  no  deep  drawn  sighs!  How  does  He  teach?  What 
effect  do  His  explanations  produce?  Now  compare  His 
class  with  yours  ?  .  .  .  Our  study  of  Him  must  be  made 
practical,  and  then  by  persevering  we  shall  become  familiar 
with  His  every  word  and  look.  Let  this  dear  Jesus  be 
your  nearest  and  dearest  friend.  Confide  your  trials  and 
difficulties  to  Him,  refer  to  Him  all  your  success.  Take 
everything  as  coming  from  His  Fatherly  hand.  Make  haste, 
my  child,  to  become  a  saint.  Remember  the  promises  you 
have  made  to  the  Lord,  your  God !  " 

We  have  given  this  lengthy  extract  to  show  how  Mother 
Hardey  conveyed  the  highest  lessons  of  spiritual  life  in 
the  simplest  form.  It  was  her  maternal  heart  that  influ- 
enced souls,  and  bound  them  to  her  by  the  "  bonds  of  char- 
ity." To  receive  a  line  from  her,  to  get  her  blessing,  even 
a  smile  or  approving  nod  of  her  head,  gave  strength  and 
courage  to  her  daughters  in  every  conflict  between  nature 
and  grace.  She  governed  by  the  power  of  attraction,  but 
her  authority  was  never  personal.  The  Heart  of  Jesus  was 
the  principle,  the  model,  the  help  and  the  reward  of  the 
orders  she  gave,  the  virtues  she  required,  and  the  sacrifices 
she  demanded. 

Mother  du  Rousier,  the  new  Visitatrix,  arrived  at  Man- 
hattanville  on  the  24th  of  May,  1852.  She  was  welcomed 
with  filial  affection  as  the  representative  of  the  Mother 
General,  and  we  learn  from  the  following  letter  to  Mother 
Barat  how  favorably  she  was  impressed  by  all  she  witnessed 
there : 

"  I  have  found  a  beautiful  house,  situated  in  a  superb 
location.  This  establishment  would  do  honor  to  France, 
and  it  may  be  considered  one  of  your  finest,  in  respect  to 
buildings,  scenery,  and  general  surroundings.  Its  prosper- 
ity is  remarkable.  There  are  over  one  hundred  pupils, 

152 


ACADEMY  AND  ORPHANAGE  IN  DETROIT 

twelve  novices  and  eight  postulants,  so  you  see  the  benedic- 
tions of  the  Good  Master  rest  upon  this  family.  I  have  been 
edified  by  the  religious  spirit  of  the  community,  so  much 
good  will  is  evinced  by  all.  The  rule  of  silence  is  faithfully 
observed,  the  regular  exercises  of  piety  are  performed  with 
great  exactitude  and  punctuality.  I  have  found  the  spirit 
of  poverty  well  observed  in  all  the  departments,  and  the 
furniture  used  by  the  religious  is  of  the  simplest  and  most 
ordinary  kind. 

"  The  morning  after  my  arrival  I  called  upon  the  Arch- 
bishop at  his  residence.  He  received  me  most  cordially, 
and  a  few  days  later  came  to  Manhattanville.  He  testifies 
the  greatest  esteem  for  the  Society,  and  has  spoken  of  you, 
my  venerated  Mother,  in  terms  which  have  rejoiced  my 
heart." 

Mother  Hardey  accompanied  Mother  du  Rousier  in  her 
visits  to  the  houses  in  the  Vicariate.  A  great  sorrow  awaited 
them  in  Buffalo,  for  the  cholera  was  ravaging  the  city  and 
had  already  carried  off  three  of  the  religious,  when  Mother 
Cruice,  their  heroic  superior,  offered  herself  to  God  as  a 
victim  to  obtain  the  cessation  of  the  scourge.  Her  prayer 
was  heard.  She  was  attacked  by  the  epidemic  and  was  at 
the  point  of  death  when  the  Mothers  arrived.  Braving  the 
contagion  they  remained  at  the  bedside  of  the  dying  relig- 
ious until  her  happy  soul  passed  to  its  eternal  reward.  In 
announcing  to  the  bereaved  community  the  loss  of  their 
saintly  superior,  Mother  du  Rousier  said  :  "  The  sacrifice  has 
been  accepted  by  Him  who  is  never  outdone  in  generosity. 
Your  Mother  is  the  last  victim  of  this  fearful  malady.  You 
will  be  spared  for  her  sake."  These  prophetic  words  were 
verified.  One  of  the  pupils  gives  us  an  account  of  those 
terrible  days:  "Although  only  eight  years  of  age  at  that 
time,  I  have  still  a  vivid  recollection  of  Mother  Hardey's 
visit.  When  she  entered  the  Study  Hall  the  morning  after 
Mother  Cruice's  funeral  our  hearts  were  well  nigh  broken. 
Death  had  struck  down  three  of  our  devoted  Mistresses,  and 

153 


MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

our  own  ranks  were  thinned,  many  of  the  pupils  having 
been  recalled  to  their  homes.  As  Mother  Hardey  looked  at 
the  sorrow-stricken  faces  that  met  her  gaze  her  eyes  filled 
with  tears.  Drawn  by  the  power  of  her  sympathy  we  grad- 
ually crept  close  to  her,  and  when  I  felt  her  hand  gently 
caressing  my  brow  I  laid  my  head  against  her  heart  and 
wept  out  the  childish  grief  that  had  been  suffocating  me  for 
days." 

Mother  Hardey  remained  some  time  with  the  bereaved 
family,  but  Mother  du  Rousier  was  called  to  Saint  Charles, 
Missouri,  where  the  venerable  Mother  Duchesne  was  about 
to  close  her  apostolic  career.  With  that  lively  faith  which 
had  ever  been  one  of  her  distinctive  traits,  the  dying  servant 
of  God  received  the  Mother  Visitatrix  as  the  representative 
of  the  Mother  General,  begged  her  blessing,  and  only  after 
she  had  received  it  would  she  consent  to  give  hers  in  return. 
On  the  i8th  of  November,  1852,  she  received  Holy  Viati- 
cum, then  repeated  frequently,  "  Jesus,  Mary,  Joseph,  I 
give  you  my  heart,  my  soul,  and  my  life."  "  Come,  Lord 
Jesus,  delay  no  longer,"  was  her  last  pleading  cry,  as  to- 
wards noon  she  fell  asleep  in  the  peace  of  God.  She  was  in 
the  84th  year  of  her  age,  and  had  labored  thirty-four  years 
in  the  American  missions.  Mother  du  Rousier  wrote  to 
Mother  Hardey,  as  follows :  "  Mother  Galwey  has  promised 
to  give  you  the  details  of  the  edifying  death  of  our  venerated 
Mother  Duchesne.  It  is  the  general  opinion  here  that  we 
have  lost  a  saint.  The  clergy,  and  the  Archbishop  especially, 
speak  of  her  with  the  greatest  admiration.  Monseigneur 
Kenrick  declared  she  was  the  noblest  and  most  virtuous 
soul  he  had  ever  known.  Father  de  Smet  says  that  while 
living  she  was  worthy  of  canonization.  Our  American 
houses  owe  everything  to  her.  She  has  opened  the  way  to 
us  through  many  fatigues  and  privations.  I  feel  that  I 
am  acting  in  accordance  with  the  wishes  of  our  Mother 
General  in  soliciting  the  suffrages  prescribed  for  a  deceased 
Superior  Vicar.  It  is  a  homage  of  gratitude  which  we  owe 

154 


ACADEMY  AND  ORPHANAGE  IN  DETROIT 

to  the  memory  of  this  venerable  Mother.  I  arrived  just  in 
time  to  receive  her  blessing  and  to  recommend  to  her  the 
needs  of  our  missions,  and  she  promised  me  she  would 
treat  of  them  earnestly  with  Our  Lord.  I  count  much  upon 
her  intercession,  for  I  believe  she  is  all-powerful  with  the 
Heart  of  Jesus." 

The  news  of  Mother  Duchesne's  death  deeply  affected 
Mother  Hardey.  She  had  learned  from  Mother  Aude  to 
admire  and  revere  the  heroic  virtues  of  this  truly  Apostolic 
soul,  and  in  her  own  brief  intercourse  with  her  during  the 
Council  at  St.  Michael's,  these  sentiments  had  deepened  into 
a  life-long  veneration.  On  her  side,  Mother  Duchesne  recog- 
nized in  the  youthful  Aloysia,  the  rare  gifts  which  fitted 
her  to  accomplish  great  things  for  the  Society.  It  was  she 
who  suggested  to  Mother  Galitzin  the  wisdom  of  placing 
Mother  Hardey  at  the  head  of  the  New  York  foundation, 
and  later  pointed  her  out  as  the  one  best  qualified  for  the 
office  of  Provincial  of  the  American  Houses. 

Writing  of  this  matter  to  the  Mother  General,  she  says : 
"  If  I  were  consulted  on  the  subject,  Madame  Hardey  would 
be  my  choice.  Both  in  the  Society  and  the  outside  world 
she  would  be  more  favorably  received  than  any  other." 
Magnanimous  in  soul  and  strong  in  character,  {he  elder 
religious  and  the  younger  seemed  destined  to  supplement 
each  other  in  extending  the  Society  of  the  Sacred  Heart  in 
America.  The  former  began  the  enterprise  amid  great  trib- 
ulations, the  latter  carried  it  on  to  a  successful  consumma- 
tion. We  quote  the  following  passage  from  the  French 
biography  of  Mother  Hardey :  "  If  we  regard  Mother  Du- 
chesne as  the  foundation  stone  of  the  Institute  in  America, 
we  may  look  upon  Mother  Hardey  as  the  strong  column 
which  supported  the  arch ;  or  if  we  compare  the  Society 
to  a  tree  bearing  abundant  fruit  for  the  glory  of  God, 
Mother  Duschesne  was  the  hidden  root,  whence  the  tree 
drew  its  sap,  and  Mother  Hardey  the  vigorous  trunk  which 

155 


MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

spreading  its  branches  covered  the  American  soil  with  its 
beneficent  shade." 

Initiatory  steps  have  been  taken  formally  for  the 
beatification  of  Mother  Duchesne.  An  ecclesiastical  com- 
mission has  inquired  into  the  matter  of  her  virtues,  holding 
its  sessions  at  Carondelet,  Mo.,  and  the  result  of  its  investi- 
gations has  been  forwarded  to  Rome  for  further  scrutiny. 
Thousands  of  American  Catholics  cherish  the  hope  that  it 
may  one  day  be  allowed  them  to  publicly  invoke  the  inter- 
cession of  Mother  Duchesne  in  prayer,  and  to  pay  her 
likewise  the  homage  of  their  reverent  devotion. 


156 


CHAPTER  XV. 

NEW  YORK  DAY  SCHOOL — VISIT  OF  MONSEIGNEUR  BEDINI, 
PAPAL  NUNCIO — EDIFYING  DEATHS — 1852-1853. 

Before  the  close  of  1852  Mother  Hardey  had  the  consola- 
tion of  beginning  a  work  that  she  had  long  desired  to 
establish  in  New  York,  the  foundation  of  a  free  school, 
where  her  daughters  might  devote  themselves  to  the  in- 
struction of  poor  children.  Divine  Providence  opened  the 
way  by  means  of  the  Jesuit  Fathers  of  Saint  Francis  Xa- 
vier's  Church,  who  solicited  the  services  of  the  Religious  of 
the  Sacred  Heart  in  starting  a  school  for  the  girls  of  the 
parish.  The  Bleecker  Street  community  removed  to  a  house 
at  64  West  I4th  Street,  where  they  continued  their  select 
school,  and,  while  awaiting  the  erection  of  their  new  con- 
vent, by  special  dispensation,  they  were  permitted  to  leave 
their  enclosure  in  order  to  teach  their  classes  in  the  base- 
ment of  Saint  Francis  Xavier's  Church. 

Mother  Hardey  purchased  six  lots  east  of  Sixth  Avenue, 
running  through  from  i/th  to  i8th  Streets.  The  founda- 
tions were  only  begun,  when  a  host  of  difficulties  arose 
to  thwart  her  plans.  Several  land  owners  in  the  vicinity 
protested  against  the  erection  of  a  convent  in  their  neighbor- 
hood, and  left  no  effort  untried  to  defeat  the  project.  More- 
over, the  bank  failed  in  which  she  had  deposited  the  funds 
necessary  for  the  first  payments.  She  then  turned  to  the 
source  whence  aid  had  often  come,  but  a  letter  from  Mother 
Barat,  dated  January  31,  1853,  destroyed  her  hopes.  "  Your 
letter,  dear  Mother  and  daughter,  has  caused  me  much 
anxiety.  I  am  grieved  to  learn  of  the  state  of  your  finances, 
and  deep  is  my  solicitude  in  regard  to  your  present  embar- 
rassment. But  what  is  to  be  done,  since  we  are  unable  to  as- 
sist you?  "  After  dwelling  upon  the  obstacles  which  she  her- 
self was  struggling  with,  Mother  Barat  adds :  "  Your  own  ex- 

157 


MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

perience,  as  well  as  mine,  testifies  that  difficulties  arise  from 
all  quarters  as  soon  as  we  begin  a  work  which  has  the  salva- 
tion of  souls  for  its  object.  I  am  not  surprised  that  you  and  I 
have  to  struggle  against  the  dark  purposes  of  our  arch 
enemy.  Oh,  how  consoling  to  know  that  he  is  none  other 
than  the  enemy  of  Jesus  Christ !  " 

When  all  seemed  hopeless  around  her  Mother  Hardey 
turned  with  fuller  confidence  to  Him  whose  help  never 
fails.  Again  "  the  clemency  of  God  became  the  servant  of 
a  trusting  heart."  "  It  was  marvelous,"  writes  one  of  her 
daughters,  "  how  the  money  for  each  payment  came.  On 
one  occasion  a  member  of  the  community  received  from  her 
family  the  exact  amount  required.  At  another  time  a  note 
of  $6000  was  due.  The  three  days  of  grace  had  already  ex- 
pired when  the  morning  mail  brought  a  remittance.  But 
two  thousand  dollars  were  yet  wanting.  Full  of  confidence 
in  help  from  on  high,  Rev.  Mother  said,  "  This  is  Saint 
Joseph's  day.  He  will  not  fail  us."  The  reward  of  her 
faith  was  not  delayed.  At  noon  the  Superior  of  the  Hali- 
fax Convent  arrived  w/ith  $2500  in  payment  of  a  debt  due  to 
Manhattanville.  St.  Bernard  tells  us  "  that  the  saints  suc- 
ceed in  everything  they  undertake,  because  of  their  strong 
faith,  and  the  signal  graces  it  obtains.  Each  step  taken  in 
trust  is  a  step  towards  the  blessings  promised  by  the  Lord." 
Mother  Hardey  experienced  striking  evidences  of  providen- 
tial intervention  during  the  construction  of  the  I7th  Street 
Convent,  but  only  God  could  know  the  many  hours  of 
anguish  through  which  she  passed  before  it  reached  com- 
pletion. The  exterior  of  the  building  was  rather  imposing 
in  those  days.  The  Gothic  fagade  of  brown  stone  sur- 
mounted by  a  cross,  the  carving  of  the  seal  of  the  Society, 
the  Sacred  Hearts  of  Jesus  and  Mary  encircled  by  lilies, 
over  the  entrance,  gave  it  the  aspect  of  a  church,  for  which 
it  has  frequently  been  mistaken.  Considering  the  new 
edifice  an  ornament  to  their  street,  a  deputation  of  Protes- 
tant neighbors,  who  had  so  vehemently  objected  to  the 

158 


NEW  YORK  DAY  SCHOOL 

erection  of  the  convent,  waited  upon  Mother  Hardey  to 
congratulate  her  and  express  their  satisfaction. 

The  house  became  a  focus,  whence  radiated  the  bless- 
ings of  the  Heart  of  Jesus  over  a  thousand  souls 
Nearly  two  hundred  pupils  were  gathered  in  the  Academy, 
and  over  six  hundred  in  the  parochial  school.  Night  classes 
were  organized  for  working  girls,  and  also  Sunday  classes 
in  which  Catechism  was  taught  to  more  than  two  hundred 
children  attending  the  public  schools.  Several  pious  con- 
gregations were  established  for  working  people,  notably 
the  "  Consolers  of  Mary,"  for  young  girls,  and  that  of 
"  Christian  Mothers,"  under  the  patronage  of  Saint  Ann, 
for  married  women.  While  rejoicing  in  the  good  which  was 
being  effected,  Mother  Hardey  turned  in  deep  thanksgiving 
to  God  for  having  rewarded  her  labors  with  success.  Grati- 
tude with  her  was  never  a  sterile  sentiment.  It  always 
found  expression  in  some  way  calculated  to  glorify  the 
Creator,  and  minister  to  the  welfare  of  His  creatures.  Thus 
her  tribute  of  thankfulness  for  this  special  mark  of  the 
Divine  protection  was  conferred  upon  three  young  girls  who 
desired  to  embrace  the  religious  state,  and  whom  she  se- 
lected from  the  highest  class  in  the  parochial  school  to 
finish  their  education  at  Manhattanville.  She  followed  with 
motherly  interest  their  progress  in  their  studies  and  pro- 
vided for  all  their  needs  both  at  school  and  in  the  novice- 
ship  with  that  delicacy  of  sentiment  which  was  always  a 
marked  feature  of  her  charity.  "  Be  careful,"  she  once  said 
to  a  superior,  "that  no  one  knows  who  are  the  free  pupils 
in  your  school,  or  who  are  those  that  are  received  at  a  lower 
pension.  It  is  hard  enough  for  the  children  to  feel  their 
dependence  without  being  subjected  to  the  humiliation  of 
others  knowing  it."  Meeting  one  of  her  proteges  in  a. 
shabby  looking  uniform  she  called  the  Sister  charged  with 
the  wardrobe  and  rebuked  her  sharply  for  her  neglect. 
Once,  when  a  bazaar  was  being  held  in  the  school  she  sent 
for  the  Mistress  who  had  charge  of  the  little  girls  and  gave 

159 


MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

her  ten  dollars  in  small  change,  saying,  "  Distribute  this 
money  among  those  who  have  none.  I  have  been  saving  it  for 
them  to  have  the  pleasure  of  spending  it."  Her  heart  seemed 
to  expand  and  her  energy  to  increase  with  each  new  claim 
upon  her  time  or  attention.  Thus  on  one  occasion  she  wrote 
to  a  superior,  "  I  have  been  replacing  the  Mistress  of  the 
Third  Class  for  several  weeks,  and,  so  far,  I  have  managed 
to  be  at  my  post  every  day.  It  seems  to  me  you  could  take 
a  class  in  the  school  and  give  a  few  music  lessons  also.  It 
is  such  a  pleasure  to  be  employed  with  the  children."  At 
Manhattanville  it  was  her  custom  to  visit  the  children  dur- 
ing the  hour  of  penmanship.  She  examined  not  only  the 
writing,  but  the  posture,  deportment  and  neatness  of  each 
child.  Nothing  escaped  her  vigilant  eye,  and  her  few  words 
of  reprimand  or  of  commendation  were  always  remembered 
and  treasured.  One  who  had  left  the  class  room  in  an  ugly 
mood,  returned  with  a  beaming  countenance.  "  What  has 
happened?"  whispered  her  companion.  "I  met  Rev. 
Mother,"  was  the  answer.  "What  did  she  say  to  you?" 
"  She  only  smiled,  but  that  smile  meant  everything  to  me !  " 
The  years  1852  and  1853  were  marked  by  trials  which 
deeply  affected  her.  Several  of  her  daughters  who  were 
especially  fitted  to  assist  in  the  government  of  her  wide- 
spread vicariate  died  in  the  midst  of  their  duties.  Con- 
spicuous among  them  was  Madame  Donnelly,  one  of  the 
early  pupils  of  Houston  Street.  She  was  richly  endowed  by 
nature  and  grace,  and  Mother  Hardey  had  followed  the  de- 
velopment of  her  beautiful  character  as  pupil,  novice  and 
professed,  and  had  given  her  the  care  of  the  novices  during 
Mother  Trincano's  absence  in  Detroit.  She  was  a  living 
Rule.  Mortification  and  obedience  were  her  characteristic 
virtues.  The  Divine  Will  which  she  so  ardently  loved  was 
the  only  rule  of  her  desires.  During  her  long  illness  not  a 
complaint  ever  escaped  her  lips.  Her  only  wish  was  to 
obey.  The  privations  of  holy  poverty  were  precious  to 
her  soul.  She  did  not  possess  even  a  pious  picture ;  her 

1 60 


1  Former  Convent,  Seventeenth  St.,  N.  Y. 

2  The  New  Manhattanvllle 

3  Convent,  Madison  Ave.,  N.  Y. 


NEW  YORK  DAY  SCHOOL 

only  riches  were  her  Rule  book,  her  crucifix  and  beads,  and 
the  notes  of  her  retreats.  A  few  days  before  her  death 
Mother  Hardey  asked  if  she  had  made  the  sacrifice  of  all 
that  was  dear  to  her.  "  Yes,  Rev.  Mother,"  she  answered, 
"  except  that  of  having  you  near  me  when  I  am  dying." 
"  What,"  exclaimed  Mother  Hardey,  "  would  you  refuse  Our 
Lord  so  small  a  satisfaction.  Give  all  to  Him,  who  gave 
all  for  love  of  you !  "  That  same  evening  the  dying  religious 
said :  "  Mother,  I  have  offered  Our  Lord  the  last  desire  of 
my  heart,  but  He  does  not  wish  the  sacrifice,  and  I  am  very 
happy."  As  the  evening  Angelus  bell  rang  out  on  the  iQth 
of  November,  Madame  Donnelly  began  the  prayer,  and 
while  the  words  "  Ecce  ancilla  Domini  "  were  upon  her  lips 
her  beautiful  soul  went  forth  to  contemplate  forever  the 
unveiled  beauty  of  the  Word  Made  Flesh.  In  announcing 
this  death  to  Mother  Peacock,  Mother  Hardey  pays  a  touch- 
ing tribute  to  the  memory  of  her  deeply  lamented  spiritual 
daughter :  "  The  Halifax  novices  have  promised  to  give  you 
details  of  this  remarkable  and  holy  death.  It  has  left  with 
each  of  us  the  persuasion,  I  may  almost  say,  the  conviction, 
that  the  Heart  of  Jesus,  after  having  been  Mother  Don- 
nelly's All  on  earth,  has  become  her  everlasting  reward  in 
bliss.  I  ask  but  one  favor  for  myself  and  all  those  who 
are  near  and  dear  to  me,  that  our  lives  may  have  a  similar 
end.  When  we  consider  that  final  moment,  what  are  either 
trials  or  consolations,  sufferings  or  pleasures?  Unfortu- 
nately, we  live  as  if  we  had  been  created  only  for  time. 
Is  it  not  so,  dear  Mother?  We  are  troubled  and  easily 
fretted  by  things  which  are  not  to  last.  Let  us  gather  up 
all  the  little  crosses  that  bestrew  our  path,  and  bear  them 
patiently,  in  view  of  the  one  thing  necessary."  When  in- 
formed of  the  death  of  Madame  Donnelly,  Mother  Barat 
suggested  that  Mother  Trincano  be  recalled  from  Detroit 
to  resume  direction  of  the  noviceship.  Referring  to  the  qual- 
ifications necessary  for  a  Mistress  of  Novices,  she  says : 
"  In  general,  my  daughter,  a  solid  religious  education  is 

ii  161 


MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

very  difficult  to  impart  and  perfect.  It  is  necessary  to 
possess  the  spirit  of  prayer,  constant  zeal,  a  patience  proof 
against  any  trial,  invariable  meekness,  and,  when  requisite, 
a  just  firmness.  This  union  of  virtues  is  very  rare,  yet  it 
should  be  possessed  by  all  those  who  are  called  to  train 
others.  Ah !  how  much  I  need  your  prayers,  my  daughter, 
that  I,  and  all  those  in  authority  may  not  be  found  wanting 
in  this  respect." 

Mother  Trincano  was  admirably  qualified  for  the  duties 
of  her  charge,  and  her  return  to  Manhattanville  was  a  great 
help  to  Mother  Hardey,  even  in  the  direction  of  the  school, 
as  later  the  post  of  Mistress  General  was  left  vacant  by  the 
departure  of  Mother  Boudreau  for  France,  where  she  re- 
mained six  months. 

We  read  in  one  of  Father  Faber's  works  that  though 
"  it  is  not  easy  to  be  a  saint,  yet  saints  are  the  easiest  mas- 
ters we  can  have,  because  they  are  more  like  Jesus  than 
other  men."  This  was  realized  in  Mother  Hardey.  From  a 
letter  written  to  Mother  Peacock  in  January,  1853,  we 
learn  with  what  gentleness  and  firmness  she  desired  to 
influence  souls: 

"  DEAR  MOTHER  : 

"  Your  letter  of  November  3Oth,  though  of  ancient  date, 
was  more  than  welcome,  so  many  weeks  had  passed  since 
I  had  heard  from  the  frozen  regions.  ...  I  am  happy  to 
know  that  Louise  is  doing  well.  I  am  certain  that  with 
proper  formation  she  can  be  made  very  useful.  She  has 
eccentricities  of  character,  it  is  true,  but  she  has  piety  and 
talent  and  she  can  be  encouraged  to  generosity  in  the  dis- 
charge of  duty  and  in  the  acquisition  of  virtue.  But  for 
that  very  reason  you  must  never  lose  sight  of  her.  Point 
out  all  the  faults  you  observe  in  her  conduct,  and  in  propor- 
tion as  she  advances  in  the  spiritual  life  give  her  oppor- 
tunities of  practicing  exterior  mortification  and  humility. 
While  thus  helping  her  to  become  a  true  religious  you  will 

162 


NEW  YORK  DAY  SCHOOL 

be  performing-  one  of  the  most  responsible  duties  of  our 
terrible  charge — that  of  forming  souls  upon  the  model 
placed  before  us,  the  Adorable  Heart  of  Jesus." 

Referring  to  a  postulant  whose  vocation  seemed  doubt- 
ful, she  continues:  "I  still  feel  reluctant  to  receive  B.,  for 
I  fear  she  will  never  make  a  good  religious,  though  she 
may  be  of  great  service. 

"  Everything  goes  on  peacefully  and  quietly  at  Man- 
hattanville.  It  would  be  difficult  to  find  a  more  united  and 
devoted  family.  Pray  that  His  blessing  may  always  con- 
tinue. 

"  Love  to  all  and  thanks  to  those  who  so  kindly  thought 
of  me  at  the  joyous  season.  I  did  not  forget  them,  nor  you, 
dear  Mother,  when  I  placed  my  petitions  in  the  Heart  of 
Jesus  for  1853. 

"  Your  four  novices  are  in  perfect  health,  and  they  con- 
tinue to  give  entire  satisfaction.  Madame  Phelan  has  some- 
thing very  saintly  about  her,  and  she  is  noted  among  the 
novices  for  that  spirit  of  perfect  obedience,  which  she 
learned  from  our  good  little  Mother  Donnelly. 

"  Good-night,  dear  Mother ;  pray  as  often  as  your  charity 
will  prompt  you  for 

"  Yours  ever  devotedly  in  C.  J.  M., 

"A.  HARDEY,  R.S.C.J." 

The  year  1853  was  made  memorable  by  an  effort  of  the 
Sovereign  Pontiff,  Pius  IX,  to  establish  diplomatic  rela- 
tions between  the  United  States  and  the  Court  of  Rome. 
His  Grace,  Monseigneur  Bedini,  Papal  Nuncio  to  Brazil, 
was  deputed  to  fulfil  a  complimentary  mission  to  the  gov- 
ernment at  Washington,  at  the  same  time  that  he  was 
charged  to  report  to  Rome  his  observations  upon  the 
Church  in  America.  The  calumnies  circulated  against  him 
by  infidel  refugees  from  Italy,  and  the  conspiracies  that 
grew  out  of  them,  fill  a  dark  page  in  our  national  annals. 
Monseigneur  Bedini  failed  in  his  diplomatic  errand,  but  he 

163 


MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

fearlessly  traveled  through  a  number  of  dioceses,  visiting 
everywhere  the  educational  establishments  and  institutions 
of  charity.  On  his  arrival  in  New  York,  his  Grace  an- 
nounced his  intention  of  visiting  Manhattanville.  "  Wish- 
ing to  show  my  esteem  and  appreciation  of  the  Religious  of 
the  Sacred  Heart,  I  have  decided  to  celebrate  the  Holy 
Sacrifice  of  the  Mass  in  your  chapel.  I  am  fully  persuaded 
that  my  petitions  will  be  all  the  more  acceptable  to  Our 
Divine  Lord,  when  united  to  those  of  the  '  Wise  Virgins ' 
whose  mystical  lamps  are  always  in  readiness  for  the  visit 
of  the  Heavenly  Bridegroom."  Accompanied  by  Arch- 
bishop Hughes  and  several  ecclesiastics  the  Nuncio  was  re- 
ceived at  Manhattanville  with  all  the  honor  due  to  the  En- 
voy of  the  Holy  See,  and  after  Mass  his  Grace  addressed 
the  pupils  a  few  words  on  the  excellence  of  Christian  edu- 
cation. The  most  prominent  feature  of  the  reception  given 
by  the  pupils  was  an  Italian  dialogue  in  which  the  struggles 
and  the  triumphs  of  the  reigning  pontiff  were  rehearsed. 
This  was  followed  by  a  grand  cantata  sung  by  fifty  voices, 
composed  as  a  tribute  to  Pius  IX  at  the  time  of  his  elevation 
to  the  Papal  throne.  The  Nuncio  was  deeply  moved  by 
these  expressions  of  loyalty  to  the  Vicar  of  Christ,  and  at 
the  close  of  the  entertainment  he  addressed  his  audience  in 
tones  that  betrayed  his  heartfelt  emotion:  "Thanks,  a  thou- 
sand thanks,  my  dear  young  friends,  for  the  great  pleasure 
you  have  afforded  me.  The  beautiful  address  in  my  native 
tongue  made  me  almost  forget  that  I  am  in  a  foreign  land. 
Ah !  how  I  long  to  make  known  to  the  Holy  Father  what 
I  have  witnessed  in  this  favored  spot  where  all  hearts  are 
truly  devoted  to  him  and  to  our  Mother  Church !  I  trust 
you,  my  children,  will  respond  to  the  designs  of  God  and 
profit  by  the  Christian  education  you  are  receiving  in  this 
renowned  seat  of  learning  and  piety,  this  home  of  the  Sacred 
Heart.  When  I  return  to  my  dear  Italy  I  shall  be  able  to 
tell  the  Romans  that  they  cannot  surpass  you  in  loyalty 
and  devotedness  to  the  Holy  See.  If  any  of  you  should 

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NEW  YORK  DAY  SCHOOL 

ever  come  to  Rome  I  hope  your  Rev.  Mother  will  notify 
me  that  I  may  have  the  pleasure  of  receiving  you  and  pre- 
senting you  to  the  Holy  Father."  The  Archbishop  con- 
cluded his  remarks  with  several  graceful  allusions  to  the 
bouquet  offered  him,  comparing  the  various  flowers  to  the 
virtues  that  should  distinguish  a  child  of  the  Sacred  Heart. 
Finally,  the  happiness  of  this  visit  for  the  pupils  was 
crowned  by  the  proclamation  of  three  holidays  to  be  given 
at  Mother  Hardey's  option  in  honor  of  Pius  IX,  Monseig- 
neur  Bedini,  and  Archbishop  Hughes. 

A  few  days  later  the  Nuncio  again  visited  Manhattan- 
ville.  "  How  sweetly,"  he  said,  "  does  the  Heart  of  Jesus 
shed  its  benign  influence  upon  all  who  dwell  in  this  favored 
spot.  If  ever  a  papal  nuncio  is  appointed  for  America,  the 
nunciature  should  be  established  at  Manhattanville."  "  And 
Monseigneur  Bedini  should  be  the  nuncio,"  some  one  ven- 
tured to  add.  "  No,  no,"  he  replied,  "  for  in  that  case  the 
nuncio  would  be  dismissed.  It  is  good,  however,  to  be 
humiliated."  This  remark  had  reference  to  the  plots  formed 
against  him  soon  after  his  arrival  in  the  States. 

On  the  eve  of  his  departure  for  Europe  his  Grace  re- 
quested Mother  Hardey  to  meet  him  at  the  i/th  Street 
Convent,  as  he  did  not  dare  venture  out  to  Manhattanville. 
He  arrived  in  disguise,  pale,  worn  and  greatly  altered  in 
appearance.  He  expressed  again  his  thanks  for  the  kind- 
ness shown  him  by  the  Religious  of  the  Sacred  Heart,  and 
asked  for  a  copy  of  the  beautiful  verses  with  which  the 
pupils  had  welcomed  him  to  Manhattanville.  Mother 
Hardey  presented  him  with  an  album  containing  an  illumi- 
nated copy.  He  was  deeply  touched  by  this  last  proof  of 
her  kindness.  "  I  know,"  he  said,  "  that  placed  as  you  are 
in  the  centre  of  the  Heart  of  Jesus  you  have  no  desire  to  live 
in  that  of  any  creature ;  yet  all  unworthy  and  miserable  as 
I  am,  I  venture  to  assure  you  that  you  shall  always  occupy 
a  very  high  place  in  my  profound  respect  and  esteem." 
After  a  momentary  pause  he  continued :  "  It  is  right,  for  so 

165 


MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

the  world  goes.  My  arrival  was  greeted  with  Hosannas, 
my  departure  must  ring  with  the  '  Crucifige ! '  Yet,  I  am 
happy  to  resemble,  even  faintly,  my  Divine  Lord  and  His 
Vicar  on  earth."  After  referring  to  the  efficacy  of  persecu- 
tion and  the  happiness  of  being  the  object  of  the  world's 
hatred,  he  arose,  saying,  "  I  must  leave  as  quietly  as  pos- 
sible, lest  the  messenger  from  the  Father  of  Christendom 
should  disturb  the  public  peace." 

At  one  of  his  visits  to  Manhattanville,  Monseigneur  Be- 
dini  gave  the  papal  benediction  in  the  infirmary  to  two 
young  religious  who  were  nearing  the  end  of  their  earthly 
career.  Presenting  to  them  his  pectoral  cross,  he  said: 
"  My  dear  sisters,  I  give  you  this  cross  to  kiss,  not  only  for 
your  own  sakes,  for  it  contains  many  precious  relics,  but 
that  I  may  sometimes  recall  that  it  was  touched  by  the 
burning  lips  of  the  Spouses  of  the  Heart  of  Jesus  when  they 
were  about  to  be  united  to  the  Bridegroom  of  their  souls." 
These  dying  religious,  whose  serene  aspect  in  the  face  of 
death  so  greatly  impressed  the  Nuncio,  were  Madames  Eliza 
Hogan  and  Fitzpatrick,  two  of  Mother  Hardey's  most  prom- 
ising subjects.  At  an  early  age  both  were  pupils  at  Hous- 
ton Street,  classmates,  and  later  companions  in  the  noviti- 
ate. They  made  their  first  vows  together  and  were  em- 
ployed in  the  school  of  Manhattanville,  where  they  kept  up 
a  holy  rivalry  in  self-sacrifice  and  fidelity  to  duty.  At  about 
the  same  time,  their  failing  health  gave  tokens  of  an  early 
death,  and  as  a  sea  voyage  was  prescribed  for  both,  they 
had  the  pleasure  of  going  to  France  and  of  receiving  to- 
gether the  blessing  of  their  venerated  Mother  General. 
They  had  fallen  into  rapid  consumption  and  they  returned 
home  to  die.  After  making  a  spiritual  retreat,  as  a  prepa- 
ration for  death,  Madame  Hogan  was  permanently  confined 
to  her  bed.  Her  desire  now  turned  heavenward,  her  con- 
versations were  all  of  Jesus.  When  asked  if  it  fatigued  her 
to  talk,  she  would  reply :  "  It  never  tires  me  to  speak  of  our 
Lord,  but  other  subjects  weary  me.  Speak  to  me  of  the  love 

166 


NEW  YORK  DAY  SCHOOL 

of  the  Divine  Heart,  and  of  nothing  but  love."  When 
Mother  Hardey  announced  that  she  would  have  the  privi- 
lege of  making  her  profession,  the  dying  nun  was  radiant 
with  happiness.  Christmas  Day  was  chosen  for  the  cere- 
mony, and  Rev.  Father  Mignard,  S.J.,  who  officiated,  spoke 
in  touching  terms  of  her  share  in  the  Passion  of  our  Lord 
while  she  was  nailed  to  a  bed  of  suffering,  and  of  her  ap- 
proaching share  in  His  glory,  when  she  would  join  the  rank 
of  the  choir  of  virgins  who  follow  the  spotless  Lamb.  Mean- 
while Madame  Fitzpatrick  saw,  with  holy  envy,  that  her 
beloved  friend  and  sister  was  to  precede  her  to  heaven.  But 
the  2Qth  of  December  brought  a  crisis  in  her  sickness,  and 
it  was  deemed  prudent  to  have  her  anointed.  As  she  was 
being  carried  from  the  room  which  she  had  occupied  with 
Madame  Hogan  to  another  apartment,  the  two  invalids 
spoke  their  adieux  in  loving  raptures,  as  their  separation 
was  soon  to  be  followed  by  a  meeting  in  the  embrace  of  Him 
they  loved.  After  receiving  the  Last  Sacraments  and  pro- 
nouncing the  vows  of  profession,  Madame  Fitzpatrick  ex- 
claimed in  transports  of  joy :  "  I  am  strong  with  the  strength 
of  the  cross !  Oh  !  help  me  to  thank  my  Jesus !  "  She  said  to 
a  Sister  who  asked  her  to  obtain  a  special  favor  for  her: 
"  Pray,  pray,  Sister,  and  you  will  obtain  all  you  wish. 
Prayer  is  the  key  that  unlocks  to  us  the  treasures  hidden 
in  the  Sacred  Heart  of  Jesus.  I  have  obtained  everything 
by  prayer;  yes,  everything,  even  the  great  grace  just  re- 
ceived. Our  Lord  only  asks  that  we  persevere  in  prayer." 
To  her  novice  sisters  she  recommended  great  generosity  in 
the  service  of  God.  "  Give  Him  all  from  the  very  begin- 
ning," she  said,  "  and  one  day  you  will  realize  how  sweet 
it  is  to  have  refused  nothing  to  Him  who  loves  you."  The 
spirit  of  self-sacrifice  was  strong  in  the  supreme  hour.  She 
sent  Mother  Trincano  to  the  novices'  recreation  and  begged 
that  Mother  Hardey  should  not  be  disturbed,  as  she  was  in 
retreat.  This  good  Mother,  however,  hastened  to  the  bed- 
side of  her  dying  daughter,  who  joined  in  the  prayers  of  the 
agonizing  until  her  spirit  went  forth  with  boundless  confi- 

167 


MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

dence  in  the  mercy  of  the  Sacred  Heart  she  had  loved  and 
served  so  faithfully.  When  Madame  Hogan  was  told  that 
her  sister  had  passed  away,  she  said :  "  It  is  but  just  that 
she  should  enter  heaven  before  me,  she  was  so  pure  a  soul. 
Alas!  I  have  sinned,  and  I  deserve  to  suffer  longer,  but  I 
hope  she  will  obtain  for  me  the  grace  to  follow  soon." 
Three  days  later  her  summons  came  and  she  died  pressing 
to  her  heart  her  profession  cross,  her  rosary  and  her  scapu- 
lar, as  if  her  last  thought  had  been,  "  In  these  three  I  place 
my  trust !  " 

Only  a  few  weeks  had  elapsed  when  Mother  Hardey 
was  called  upon  to  prepare  another  daughter  for  the  final 
journey.  Madame  Spink,  formerly  superior  of  a  religious 
community  in  Kentucky,  had  lately  entered  the  noviceship, 
where  she  edified  her  sisters  by  her  humble  demeanor  and 
eager  desire  to  be  considered  as  the  last  and  least  in  the 
house.  After  pronouncing  her  vows  on  her  death  bed,  she 
was  heard  to  say,  in  sentiments  of  deep  thanksgiving: 
"  This  is  the  happiest  day  of  my  life.  I  can  now  die  a  Re- 
ligious of  the  Sacred  Heart !  "  Deaths  such  as  these  were  a 
sweet  consolation  to  the  heart  of  Mother  Hardey,  who  re- 
joiced in  the  joy  of  her  privileged  daughters ;  but  she  could 
not  fail  to  regret  the  loss  of  such  subjects  at  a  time  when 
"  the  harvest  was  great  and  the  laborers  few."  She  herself 
was  obliged  to  help  fill  the  vacancies  in  the  ranks  of  the 
religious,  as  we  learn  from  her  letter  to  Mother  Peacock: 

"  VERY  DEAR  MOTHER  : 

"  Now  that  I  have  become  Mistress  of  Class,  I  have  very 
little  time  for  letter  writing.  I  spend  daily  from  three  to 
four  hours  in  the  school.  This  necessity  accords  perfectly 
with  my  inclinations.  It  is  far  easier  to  teach  than  to  com- 
mand. Do  you  not  find  it  so,  dear  Mother?  But,  of  course, 
in  this,  as  in  all  else,  the  holy  will  of  God  be  done.  Your 
kind  friend,  Mr.  Kenny,  gave  me  a  very  favorable  account 
of  your  house,  and  appeared  disappointed  that  I  could  not 
accompany  him  on  his  return  to  your  fair  isle.  I  gave  him 

1 68 


NEW  YORK  DAY  SCHOOL 

several  messages  for  you,  some  of  which  he  will,  perhaps, 
remember.  If  I  should  ever  have  an  opportunity  of  render- 
ing a  service  to  any  one  of  his  family,  I  should  be  only  too 
happy  to  prove  my  gratitude  for  his  kindness  to  you  and 
your  community. 

"  No  news  yet  of  Madame  Boudreau's  return.  The  state 
of  her  health  will  decide  whether  she  will  accompany  Mother 
Jouve  or  remain  longer  in  France.  It  will  be  a  disappoint- 
ment to  us  if  she  should  not  come  next  month.  Your  Hali- 
fax novices  are  doing  well,  in  general.  None  are  very  bril- 
liant subjects,  but  they  are  good  religious.  That  is  their 
first  requisite,  for  what  are  talents  without  virtue?  In  the 
parcel  sent  by  Madame  Phelan  you  will  find  the  long  ex- 
pected, revised  and  corrected  '  Ceremonial,'  with  the  re- 
quired approbation  of  the  Holy  See.  Submit  it  to  his  Grace 
for  inspection;  he  will,  of  course,  permit  you  to  follow  it. 
I  would  advise  you  to  study  the  new  ceremonies  and  to  put 
them  into  practice  immediately.  It  requires  a  careful  ex- 
amination to  discover  the  several  changes  made." 

Mother  Hardey  attached  the  greatest  importance  to  the 
least  details  of  religious  observances.  She  exacted  the  faith- 
ful accomplishment  of  the  prescribed  rubrics  at  Office ;  she 
was  always  present  in  choir,  and  any  negligence  was  sure 
to  attract  her  attention.  We  find  in  one  of  her  letters  to 
Mother  Barat  an  humble  request  to  be  dispensed  from  re- 
citing Office  aloud,  as  her  throat  was  not  in  good  condi- 
tion, and  she  humbly  begs  pardon  for  having  taken  the  dis- 
pensation before  receiving  the  desired  permission.  It  is 
not  surprising  that  the  humble  dependence  of  this  obedient 
soul  drew  down  the  blessings  of  God  upon  her  labors  for 
His  glory  and  the  welfare  of  souls. 


169 


CHAPTER   XVI. 

FOUNDATION  IN  CHILE — TROUBLES  IN  DETROIT — 
1853-1854. 

While  Mother  du  Rousier  was  making  the  visit  of  the 
convents  in  Louisiana,  she  received  a  letter  from  the  Mother 
General  informing  her  of  the  request  of  the  Archbishop  of 
Santiago  for  a  foundation  of  the  Sacred  Heart  in  Chile. 
Thus  a  new  continent  was  opened  to  the  Society,  and 
Madame  Barat  decided  that  the  first  missionaries  should 
go  from  the  United  States.  It  rested  with  the  Mother 
Visitatrix  to  select  the  leader  of  this  important  enterprise, 
and  she  at  once  looked  to  Mother  Hardey  as  the  one  most 
competent  to  undertake  a  mission  so  hazardous  and  yet  so 
promising  in  results  for  the  good  of  souls.  But  such  was 
not  the  Divine  Will.  Mother  Hardey  was  to  continue  to 
extend  the  empire  of  the  Heart  of  Jesus  north  of  the  equa- 
tor, while  Mother  du  Rousier,  who  had  seen  the  destruction 
of  the  houses  in  Italy  in  which  she  had  labored  during  the 
first  half  of  her  life,  was  to  receive  the  unusual  privilege 
and  glory  of  a  second  career,  even  more  fruitful  and  im- 
portant than  the  first,  in  the  untilled  fields  of  South  America. 
This  good  Mother  told  the  Manhattanville  community,  that 
while  praying  for  the  guidance  of  Divine  Light  in  her 
choice,  an  interior  voice  seemed  to  whisper,  "  I  have  ap- 
pointed you,  that  you  should  go  and  bring  forth  fruit,  and 
that  your  fruit  should  remain."  What  signified  this  utter- 
ance in  the  secrecy  of  her  heart,  save  that  the  Divine  Spouse 
called  her  to  follow  Him  to  the  distant  shores  of  Chile? 
Such  was  Mother  du  Rousier's  interpretation,  even  before 
the  voice  of  obedience  authorized  her  determination.  A 
letter  from  Mother  Barat  was  received  while  she  was  in 
Buffalo,  towards  the  end  of  July,  telling  her  that  a  young 
Chilian  priest  had  promised  to  take  charge  of  the  little 

170 


FOUNDATION  IN  CHILE 

band  of  missionaries  and  that  she  should  leave  with  him 
from  New  York.  Mother  du  Rousier  at  once  prepared  to 
start  on  her  perilous  journey.  She  was  accompanied  by 
Madame  Mary  McNally,  a  gifted  young  religious  who  had 
shared  for  twenty  years  the  labors  of  Mother  du  Rousier, 
her  varied  accomplishments  and  knowledge  of  foreign  lan- 
guages enabling  her  to  render  eminent  services  to  the  South 
American  Mission.  Sister  Antoinette,  who  had  come  to 
America  with  Mother  du  Rousier,  was  the  third  of  the  little 
colony  that  embarked  on  the  Georgia  August  5th,  1853. 

Mother  Hardey  confided  them  to  Don  Joachim  Lar- 
rain,  who  had  been  commissioned  to  treat  with  Mother 
Barat  about  the  proposed  foundation.  After  a  voyage  of 
eight  days  they  landed  at  Kingston,  Jamaica,  where  they 
had  the  happiness  of  hearing  Mass  and  receiving  Holy  Com- 
munion. For  two  days  more  the  Georgia  sailed  through 
the  gorgeous  scenes  of  the  Antilles,  and  then  entered  the 
port  of  Aspinwall.  The  passengers  landed  and  began  their 
dangerous  journey  across  the  isthmus.  We  quote  the  fol- 
lowing account  of  a  thrilling  episode  from  the  journal  of 
Madame  McNally :  "  As  we  wound  along  the  brink  of  a 
precipice,  a  cry  was  heard  which  sent  a  shudder  through 
every  heart.  Our  good  Mother  du  Rousier  was  nowhere 
to  be  seen.  Her  mule  lay  upon  the  border  of  the  precipice 
and  the  guide,  leaning  over  the  abyss,  shouted,  '  The 
Senora  has  fallen ! '  God  alone  knows  our  agony  at  that 
moment,  but  His  loving  Providence  watched  over  us. 
Mother  du  Rousier's  mule  had  stumbled  and  thrown  her 
over  the  brink  of  a  declivity  which  was  one  hundred  feet 
in  depth.  Happily  she  fell  upon  the  trunk  of  a  tree  and 
had  the  presence  of  mind  to  clasp  her  arms  around  it,  and 
there  she  hung  over  the  yawning  gulf  below.  A  negro  who 
was  let  down  by  means  of  ropes  rescued  her  just  as  her 
strength  was  giving  way.  How  heartfelt  were  our  thanks- 
givings for  her  preservation.  In  their  joy  the  Spaniards 
cried,  'How  God  must  love  her!'  Indeed,  none  could  fail 

171 


MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

to  see  in  this  marvelous  escape  the  merciful  protection  of 
the  Heart  of  Jesus." 

The  adventures  encountered  then  crossing  the  isthmus 
seem  almost  incredible  now.  Madame  McNally's  journal  is 
filled  with  details  of  exciting  incidents  which  marked  the 
route,  until  they  finally  reached  Santiago  on  the  I4th  of 
September,  Feast  of  the  Exaltation  of  the  Holy  Cross. 
There  they  were  most  cordially  received  by  the  Arch- 
bishop, who  gave  them  hospitality  in  a  Convent  of  Poor 
Clares.  The  Government  offered  to  confide  the  chief  nor- 
mal school  of  the  city  to  them,  and  undertook  to  repair  the 
Convent  of  St.  Isidore  and  adapt  it  to  the  purposes  of  an 
academy.  Five  months  elapsed,  however,  before  they  were 
in  possession  of  their  new  home.  In  writing  to  Mother 
Hardey  of  this  delay,  Mother  du  Rousier  says:  "Things 
are  not  accomplished  here  by  steam,  as  they  are  in  the 
States.  It  is  impossible  to  hasten  the  preparations  for  our 
opening.  Pray  that  Our  Lord  may  bless  the  labors  for 
which  He  called  us  to  this  southern  land,  where  it  is  easy 
to  do  good  on  account  of  the  faith  of  the  people.  Forty 
pupils  have  been  already  promised,  and,  to  judge  from  ap- 
pearances, a  great  field  lies  open  to  the  zeal  of  all  who  may 
be  chosen  to  cultivate  this  vineyard  of  the  Lord.  Madame 
McNally  has  given  you  the  details  of  our  journey.  Happily, 
our  religious  will  not  be  exposed  to  such  dangers  in  future, 
for  before  others  come  from  North  America  the  railroad 
will  probably  extend  across  the  isthmus  and  thus  render 
traveling  there  as  easy  as  elsewhere."  Mother  McNally 
told  Mother  Hardey  in  her  letter  of  a  promise  made  by 
Mother  du  Rousier  when  she  found  herself  in  such  imminent 
danger,  namely,  that  if  rescued  she  would  have  a  chapel 
built  in  honor  of  Saint  Joseph  as  a  token  of  gratitude  for 
his  protection.  At  once  Mother  Hardey  offered  to  fulfill 
the  promise,  and  she  erected,  at  a  cost  of  $500,  the  modest 
little  shrine  near  the  convent  in  Manhattanville  known  as 
Saint  Joseph's  Chapel.  While  more  stately  monuments  of 

172 


FOUNDATION  IN  CHILE 

her  zeal  and  generosity  have  suffered  destruction,  this  lowly 
edifice  has  stood  for  more  than  half  a  century  a  silent  wit- 
ness to  her  piety  and  gratitude.  During  the  fire  which  de- 
stroyed the  Manhattanville  Convent  in  1888,  though  ex- 
posed on  all  sides  to  the  devouring  flames,  it  was  not  even 
blackened  by  the  smoke,  or  singed  by  the  falling  sparks,  yet 
the  fences  beyond  were  charred  by  the  burning  heat. 

Some  months  later  Mother  du  Rousier  wrote  again,  that 
a  colony  had  arrived  from  France  to  aid  them  in  their  labors, 
and  in  conclusion  she  says:  "  The  Divine  Master  has  blessed 
this  new  foundation  beyond  our  brightest  hopes.  Besides 
the  government  scholars,  we  have  now  seventy  boarders  in 
the  academy,  making  in  all  over  one  hundred  boarders,  and 
for  this  '  little  world/  none  of  whom  are  over  twelve  years 
of  age,  there  are  only  five  Mistresses.  Mother  du  Lac 
would  like  to  steal  Madame  Tommasini  from  you,  but  I 
tell  her  she  must  give  up  the  desire,  as  this  good  Sister  is 
usefully  employed  where  she  is.  If,  however,  you  could 
spare  us  a  few  missionaries  how  grateful  we  should  be." 
Mother  Hardey  generously  responded  to  this  appeal,  and 
for  many  years  she  recruited  from  the  ranks  of  her  daugh- 
ters zealous  souls  ready  and  willing  to  devote  themselves  to 
the  interests  of  their  beloved  Society  under  the  Southern 
Cross. 

Before  the  close  of  1853  she  had  the  sorrow  of  hearing 
that  grievances,  both  spiritual  and  temporal,  threatened  the 
existence  of  the  convent  in  Detroit.  After  the  death  of  Mr. 
and  Mrs.  Beaubien  the  religious  had  moved  their  academy 
to  a  more  favorable  location,  thereby  arousing  the  animosity 
of  the  Beaubien  heirs,  who  maintained  that  the  change  of 
residence  was  illegal.  Bishop  Lefevre  had  also  taken  of- 
fense because  day  scholars  were  not  admitted  among  the 
boarders  in  the  new  school,  and  because  some  points  of 
discipline  had  been  introduced  contrary  to  his  wishes.  He 
evinced  his  displeasure  by  withdrawing  from  the  com- 
munity the  services  of  a  chaplain,  and  depriving  them  of 

173 


MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

all  spiritual  help.  For  three  months  the  religious  were 
obliged  to  leave  their  enclosure  to  attend  Mass  in  the  parish 
church,  and  they  were  subjected  to  what  was,  for  them,  the 
most  bitter  of  all  trials,  the  privation  of  the  Blessed  Sacra- 
ment in  their  chapel.  Such  a  state  of  affairs  necessitated 
Mother  Hardey's  presence  in  Detroit.  Her  arrival  was  a 
source  of  consolation  to  her  daughters.  So  tranquil  was 
her  demeanor  that  it  infused  courage  and  confidence  into  all 
hearts.  "  The  solution  of  these  difficulties,"  writes  one  of 
the  religious,  "  detained  our  Mother  with  us  for  several 
weeks.  She  told  us  that  Our  Lord  had  permitted  these  trials 
in  order  to  make  us  depend  on  Him  alone.  When  obstacles 
are  thrown  in  our  way  by  those  to  whom  we  look  for  help, 
let  us  turn  to  Him  for  support  and  counsel."  She  frequently 
repeated,  "If  God  be  for  you,  who  can  be  against  you?" 
It  was  a  delicate  matter  to  settle,  as  Mother  du  Rousier  had 
given  the  decisions  which  offended  the  Bishop.  Mother 
Barat  came  to  the  rescue  by  writing  to  the  Bishop.  The 
letter  is  so  touching  that  we  transcribe  it  in  full  for  the 
edification  of  our  readers: 

"  MONSEIGNEUR : 

"  The  news  I  have  lately  received  from  Detroit  is  of  a 
nature  calculated  to  cause  me  deep  sorrow.  I  learn  that  you 
have  deemed  it  your  duty  to  withdraw  from  the  Community 
of  the  Sacred  Heart  the  only  consolation  which  religious 
can  enjoy  in  their  life  of  labor  and  self-sacrifice,  namely,  the 
presence  of  the  Blessed  Sacrament,  and  the  spiritual  suc- 
cor they  should  find  at  home.  No  other  reason  has 
been  assigned  for  this  punishment  than  the  wish  expressed 
by  your  Lordship  that  we  should  open  another  house  in 
the  same  city  for  the  purpose  of  receiving  day  scholars.  A 
previous  letter  must  have  failed  to  reach  me,  for  I  learned 
at  one  and  the  same  time  this  desire  of  your  Lordship  and 
the  cruel  trial  to  which  our  Sisters  have  been  subjected.  I 
cannot  believe  that  they  would  neglect  to  explain  to  your 

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FOUNDATION  IN  CHILE 

Lordship  the  motives  which  necessitated  their  change  of 
residence,  or  act  without  your  approval. 

"  Our  constitutions,  which  have  been  approved  by  the 
Holy  See,  and  which  must  have  been  presented  for  your 
inspection,  do  not  permit  us  to  leave  our  enclosure  either 
for  Church  services  or  works  of  zeal.  Have  our  Mothers 
failed  in  their  duty  to  your  Lordship,  by  any  want  of  that 
respect  and  submission  which  our  holy  rules  prescribe  to- 
wards ecclesiastical  authority,  and  have  they  thus  merited 
to  be  the  first  examples  of  their  present  painful  position 
which  the  Society  has  yet  witnessed?  I  ask  myself  with 
anxiety  all  these  questions,  and  I  know  not  what  to  con- 
jecture. If  your  Lordship  will  deign  to  inform  me  of  the 
cause  of  your  displeasure,  I  shall  earnestly  seek  to  remedy 
it.  In  the  meantime,  I  venture  to  appeal  to  your  charity  in 
behalf  of  my  daughters.  If  they  have  failed  in  their  duty 
to  your  Lordship,  I  unite  with  them  in  imploring  pardon. 
.  .  .  I  beg  you  to  consider  that  it  is  not  in  my  power 
to  permit  them  to  infringe  their  rules  of  enclosure,  so  that 
if  you  will  not  restore  to  them  the  spiritual  help  which  is 
ordinarily  granted,  they  will  be  placed  under  the  necessity 
of  giving  up  their  mission  in  your  diocese,  for  I  do  not  see 
how  we  could  maintain  two  houses,  both  money  and  sub- 
jects being  equally  wanting.  Believe  me,  Monseigneur,  it 
would  be  a  pleasure  for  me  to  second  your  zeal,  and,  within 
the  limits  of  the  rule,  we  shall  do  all  we  can  to  carry  out 
your  wishes.  .  .  .  Your  Lordship  knows  well  that  these 
rules  have  been  wisely  ordained,  and  that  they  are  the  safe- 
guards of  the  religious  spirit.  I  am  convinced  that  you 
would  not  wish  us  to  set  them  aside  and  thereby  open  the 
door  to  abuses,  which  would  be  doubly  deplorable  in  a 
Protestant  country.  Permit  me,  then,  to  renew  the  ex- 
pression of  my  sincere  regret  for  anything  that  may  have 
wounded  your  Lordship's  feelings,  together  with  my  pro- 
found grief  for  the  present  state  of  one  of  the  families  which 
the  Heart  of  Jesus  has  confided  to  my  care,  notwithstanding 

175 


MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

my  unworthiness,  and  deign  to  be  favorable  to  my  prayer 
in  restoring  to  it  your  fatherly  protection.  In  the  hope 
of  obtaining  this  favor,  which  I  humbly  solicit,  permit  me 
in  advance  to  assure  your  Lordship  of  my  sincere  gratitude 
and  to  sign  myself  with  profound  veneration, 

"  Your  humble  and  obedient  servant, 

"  M.  L.  S.  BARAT,  R.S.C.J." 

This  letter,  breathing  at  once  the  solicitude  of  a  mother, 
the  vigor  of  a  foundress  and  the  humility  of  a  saint,  made  a 
most  favorable  impression  upon  Bishop  Lefevre,  while 
Mother  Hardey's  readiness  to  yield  as  far  as  possible  to  his 
wishes  so  completely  disarmed  him  that  he  promptly  re- 
stored to  the  community  the  spiritual  blessings  of  which 
they  had  been  deprived.  He  sanctioned  Mother  Hardey's 
proposition  to  erect  an  academy  in  a  favorable  location 
where  all  the  works  of  the  Society  might  be  carried  on  with- 
out detriment  to  any,  and  he  himself  started  negotiations  for 
the  purchase  of  a  property  opposite  the  pro-cathedral  and 
adjoining  the  Beaubien  homestead. 

Mother  Hardey's  relations  with  the  Beaubien  heirs  pre- 
sented greater  difficulties.  They  disputed  the  right  of  the 
religious  to  sell  property  bequeathed  to  the  Society,  and 
engaged  the  best  lawyers  in  the  city  to  plead  their  claim. 
Here  again  Mother  Hardey's  knowledge  of  business  and 
sound  judgment  overruled  all  obstacles.  Every  concession 
which  she  claimed  was  declared  to  be  just.  The  Beaubiens' 
legal  adviser  declared  that  he  "  would  rather  contend  with 
ten  lawyers  than  with  one  Madame  Hardey."  On  one  oc- 
casion he  inquired  of  his  friend  General  Scammon,  "  Are 
you  acquainted  with  Madame  Hardey?"  "Yes,"  was  the 
reply.  "  Have  you  the  same  honor?  "  "  I  am  sufficiently  ac- 
quainted," he  answered,  "  to  know  that  she  has  missed  her 
vocation.  If  Madame  Hardey  were  a  partner  in  my  firm  I 
should  be  a  rich  man,  for  she  is  the  cleverest  woman  I  have 
ever  met."  After  relating  this  incident,  General  Scammon 

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FOUNDATION  IN  CHILE 

mentioned  another  circumstance  which  shows  the  estimate 
placed  upon  Mother  Hardey's  business  capacity  by  the 
ablest  lawyers  in  the  country.  "  When  Mother  Hardey  had 
decided  to  purchase  the  present  property  on  Jefferson 
Avenue,"  said  the  General,  "  she  requested  me,  as  I  was 
going  to  New  York,  to  take  the  deeds  to  the  famous  Charles 
O'Conor  for  examination.  When  I  presented  them  Mr. 
O'Conor  asked,  'Has  Madame  Hardey  seen  them?' 
'Yes/  I  replied.  'And  has  she  examined  them?'  'Yes/ 
'  Then  you  may  roll  them  up  and  take  them  back  to  her, 
for  if  she  has  examined  them  it  is  needless  for  me  to  do  so/ 
I  realized  then  what  an  'extraordinarily  gifted  woman 
Madame  Hardey  must  be,  since  two  of  the  most  noted  law- 
yers of  the  day  had  given  such  testimony  of  her  ability." 

Before  leaving  Detroit  Mother  Hardey  had  the  consola- 
tion of  knowing  that  she  had  secured  for  her  daughters  not 
only  their  lost  privileges,  but  the  good  will  of  all  those  who 
had  recently  been  hostile  to  them.  There  was  a  general  re- 
awakening of  interest  in  their  success,  on  the  part  of  both 
laity  and  clergy.  Bishop  Lefevre  seemed  most  anxious  to 
make  amends,  by  lavishing  favors  upon  the  community. 
He  took  an  active  interest  in  the  erection  of  the  new  con- 
vent, and  one  day  sent  to  the  religious  superintending  the 
work  a  handsome  gas  fixture  and  a  marble  mantel  piece, 
with  the  request  that  they  should  be  placed  in  the  room 
destined  for  Madame  Hardey  when  she  visited  Detroit. 
The  religious  assured  his  Lordship  that  Mother  Hardey 
would  refuse  to  occupy  an  apartment  so  ornamented,  but 
with  his  approval  she  would  have  them  placed  in  one  of  the 
parlors,  which  they  would  name  "  Mother  Hardey's  parlor." 
The  erection  of  the  Detroit  convent  added  greatly  to  the 
financial  difficulties  already  weighing  on  Mother  Hardey, 
and  of  which  she  speaks  in  a  letter  written  to  the  Superior 
of  Halifax  shortly  after  her  return  to  Manhattanville : 
"  Madame  Kearney  has  just  handed  me  a  letter  addressed 
to  you,  which  I  cannot  seal  without  adding  a  line  of  apology 

13  177 


MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

for  my  past  neglect.  I  feel  that  you  have  good  reason  for 
complaint,  and  though  I  could  give  satisfactory  excuses  for 
my  long  silence,  I  will  only  say,  '  Mea  Culpa/  and  promise 
to  sin  no  more.  I  was  truly  thankful  for  the  cheque,  which 
could  not  have  come  at  a  more  appropriate  time.  I  was  in 
need  of  $10,000,  and  I  assure  you  that  were  it  not  for  the 
necessity  of  aiding  the  other  houses  I  would  not  have  called 
upon  you.  The  communities  of  Detroit  and  Buffalo  re- 
quire money,  for  both  are  building.  The  latter  cannot  de- 
lay, for  they  are  occupying  the  Bishop's  house,  which  must 
be  vacated  in  the  fall,  when  the  grand  Buffalo  cathedral 
will  be  consecrated.  You  see,  dear  Mother,  I  have  much  to 
contend  against.  Poor  nature  often  murmurs,  but  it  has  to 
submit  and  try  to  bear  the  cross  graciously,  if  not  lovingly. 
.  .  .  Mother  Thompson  is  doing  admirably  in  the  city. 
What  would  please  you  most  there  is  the  parish  school, 
which  numbers  upwards  of  six  hundred  children.  They  do 
credit  to  their  teachers  by  their  progress  and  good  conduct. 

"  Mesdames  Jones  and  Tommasini  are  in  retreat.  They 
are  to  make  their  profession  on  Ascension  Day.  It  will  be 
a  grand  ceremony.  The  Archbishop  will,  of  course,  officiate, 
as  Madame  Jones  is  one  of  his  dearest  children. 

"  I  presume  you  have  heard  of  the  promise  which  Bishop 
Connolly  has  received  of  a  foundation  in  Saint  John.  I  can- 
not tell  you  how  happy  this  news  has  made  me,  for  only  a 
short  time  before  his  request  was  refused.  But  when  God 
wills  anything,  who  can  oppose  His  designs?  .  .  .  Ex- 
cuse this  nocturnal  scratch.  I  fear  you  will  not  be  able  to 
make  it  out.  The  clock  has  struck  eleven.  Pray  for  me,  dear 
Mother,  I  do  not  forget  you  even  when  I  do  not  write." 

It  would  be  difficult  to  form  an  estimate  of  Mother  Har- 
dey's  correspondence,  as  comparatively  few  of  her  letters 
have  been  preserved.  This  dearth  is  owing  to  her  oft  re- 
peated orders  that  her  letters  should  be  destroyed.  Writing 
at  one  time  to  a  young  superior  to  whom  she  had  sent 
almost  daily  communications,  she  said :  "  I  am  told  that 

178 


FOUNDATION  IN  CHILE 

you  are  carefully  preserving  my  letters.  This  is  the  last 
you  will  receive  until  I  hear  that  you  have  burned  all  those 
now  in  your  possession."  The  time  devoted  to  correspond- 
ence was  of  necessity  taken  from  her  hours  of  repose,  and 
withdrawing  to  her  room  after  night  prayers,  she  seated 
herself  at  her  desk,  to  guide,  strengthen,  console  or,  per- 
haps, chide  her  absent  daughters.  She  wrote  the  following 
lines  to  a  young  religious  who  was  having  her  first  experi- 
ence in  the  classroom :  "  Do  not  let  your  exterior  occupa- 
tions interfere  with  your  habitual  union  of  heart  with  your 
Divine  Spouse,  else  you  will  become  a  simple  school  mis- 
tress and  not  a  true  Religious  of  the  Sacred  Heart.  I  am 
longing  for  the  vacation,  when  I  hope  to  have  you  with  me 
for  a  few  weeks  at  least,  and  I  hope  your  good  superior  will 
be  able  to  give  me  satisfactory  accounts  of  your  progress. 
I  promise  to  give  you  a  few  moments  every  day  while  you 
are  here,  provided  you  are  in  earnest  with  your  perfection. 
As  to  your  little  difficulties  with  your  Sisters,  never  let  them 
weaken  that  sweet  union  of  mind  and  hearts  which  is  our 
distinctive  characteristic.  We  are  all  prone  to  fall  into  the 
same  defects  that  they  commit.  They  bear  with  our  faults, 
why  should  we  not  bear  with  theirs?  You  are  right  in  be- 
lieving that  distance  does  not  change  my  feelings  towards 
you.  It  only  makes  me  uneasy  that  my  dear  child  should 
forget  what  Our  Lord  expects  in  return  for  all  that  He  has 
done  for  her." 

The  following  reminiscences  have  been  given  us  by  an 
old  Sister,  who  for  many  years  slept  in  Mother  Hardey's 
room  and  had  ample  opportunities  of  observing  her  closely : 
"  Our  Reverend  Mother  rose  at  half-past  four  in  the  morn- 
ing to  preside  at  our  meditation.  Her  days  were  always 
full,  and  it  was  often  late  when  she  came  to  her  room  at 
night.  She  often  wrote  letters  until  after  midnight.  Before 
retiring  she  used  to  go  to  an  adjoining  room  to  take  the 
discipline.  I  was  afraid  to  move  lest  she  should  know  that 
I  heard  her.  The  very  sight  of  her  instruments  of  penance, 

179 


MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

which  I  sometimes  came  across,  made  me  shudder.  I  could 
not  bear  to  call  her  so  early  in  the  morning,  and  once  when 
I  found  her  sleeping  very  soundly  I  had  not  the  courage  to 
waken  her.  After  breakfast  she  inquired  why  I  had  not 
called  her  at  the  right  time.  On  hearing  my  explanation, 
she  said :  '  Very  well,  I  shall  put  another  Sister  in  your 
place,  who  will  be  more  obedient ! '  When  I  promised  to  be 
faithful  in  future,  she  forgave  me.  One  night  I  took  her  a 
cup  of  hot  milk,  saying,  '  Mother  you  are  very  tired,  please 
take  this.'  '  Sister,'  she  answered,  '  you  are  tired  also,  sit 
down  and  drink  it  yourself,'  and  to  my  great  confusion  she 
made  me  obey.  She  then  warned  me  that  I  must  leave  her 
as  well  as  myself  to  the  care  of  the  infirmarian,  and  if  ever 
I  brought  her  a  drink  of  my  own  accord  she  would  make 
me  take  it  myself,  so  I  never  dared  to  do  it  again." 

One  might  be  tempted  to  ask  whether  those  days  and 
nights  of  constant  toil  were  not  wasting  to  the  spiritual  life, 
or  at  least  detrimental  to  the  union  of  her  soul  with  God. 
"  From  some  points  of  view,"  says  Father  Faber,  "  an 
active  saint  is  a  more  complicated  work  of  grace  than  a 
contemplative  one.  In  nothing  is  the  worth  of  real  spiritu- 
ality more  tried  than  in  the  performance  of  outward  works. 
In  Mother  Hardey's  case,  we  have  to  believe  that  in  pro- 
portion to  the  demands  of  her  ever  increasing  responsibili- 
ties she  gave  herself  up  more  fully  to  the  claims  of  the  in- 
terior life.  In  the  following  letter  from  her  holy  director, 
Father  Barelle,  S.J.,  we  are  permitted  to  see  behind  the  veil 
which  concealed  the  sanctity  of  her  soul,  how  she  was  ad- 
vancing in  the  way  of  perfection,  even  in  the  midst  of  the 
most  arduous  occupations: 

"AVIGNON,  April  17,  1854. 

"  Praise  be  to  God,  my  dear  daughter !  I  am  delighted 
with  Him  and  with  you!  With  Him  for  giving  you  such 
sensible  signs  of  His  love,  more  abundant  now  than  in  the 
past,  when  He  concealed  His  tenderness  for  your  soul.  To- 
day He  reveals  His  mercy  and  makes  you  feel  it  in  a  more 

1 80 


FOUNDATION  IN  CHILE 

sensible  manner.  ...  I  am  likewise  pleased  with  you, 
on  account  of  the  many  victories  you  have  gained  over  your- 
self, aided  by  the  increase  of  grace  which  your  amiable 
Spouse  has  given  you.  What  must  you  do  now?  One  thing 
only,  follow  the  path  upon  which  you  have  entered.  Let 
yourself  be  led  interiorly  by  the  spirit  of  our  Lord,  in  con- 
formity with  the  rules  of  your  Institute  and  the  virtues 
which  it  demands,  and  exteriorly  by  those  same  rules  and 
the  Minister  of  Our  Lord  to  whom  obedience  has  confided 
the  direction  of  your  soul.  Courage,  my  child,  you  must 
continue  to  walk  bravely  and  generously  in  the  path  of 
humiliation  and  self-abandonment  in  imitation  of  Him  who 
espoused  humility  in  His  Incarnation,  was  faithful  to  it  dur- 
ing life,  and  died  within  its  arms.  ...  I  am  pleased 
with  your  state  of  indifference  and  the  abandonment  which 
it  supposes  to  all  the  designs  of  God  in  your  regard.  It  re- 
quires more  energy  than  you  give  yourself  credit  for,  to  live 
always  in  this  state.  Your  letter  makes  me  very  happy,  for 
it  reveals  your  whole  soul  to  me.  Your  contempt  of  your- 
self will  render  you  more  meek  and  gentle  with  others,  more 
willing  to  bear  with  their  defects,  and  more  devoted  in  your 
service  to  souls,  even  when  they  are  most  ungrateful  and 
undeserving.  Remember  that  Jesus  should  be  our  all.  Not 
Jesus  only,  but  our  spouse  Jesus  crucified,  surrounded  by 
all  kinds  of  tribulations  and  contradictions.  He  underwent 
all  this  for  us.  How  can  we  refuse  to  take  our  share  for 
His  sake?  Let  your  heart,  then,  be  united  to  His.  Consider 
it  a  great  honor  and  consolation  to  resemble  Him  in  any 
way.  Love  contradictions,  but,  above  all,  love  the  chan- 
nels through  which  they  come  to  you.  Then  every  circum- 
stance will  be  profitable,  war  as  well  as  peace,  pain  as  well 
as  pleasure,  failure  as  well  as  success. 

"  May  Our  Divine  Lord  grant  you  this  grace !  I  will  ask 
it  for  you  and  all  your  daughters,  to  whom  I  wish  so  great 
a  knowledge  and  love  of  Jesus  Christ  that  they  may  love 
Him  with  a  passionate  love,  and  make  Him  known,  loved 
and  imitated  by  the  souls  confided  to  their  care." 


CHAPTER   XVII. 

FOUNDATIONS:    ST.    JOHN,    N.    B. — ROCHESTER — LONDON — 
SAULT-AU-RECOLLET — HAVANA — 1854-1858. 

When  the  cholera  invaded  New  Brunswick  in  1854 
Bishop  Connolly  of  St.  John  fearlessly  exposed  his  life  in 
caring  for  the  plague  stricken.  He  took  that  occasion  of 
dedicating  his  diocese  to  the  Sacred  Heart,  and  when  the 
sickness  ceased  he  made  a  touching  appeal  to  Mother  Har- 
dey  in  behalf  of  his  flock.  While  vicar  general  of  the  See 
of  Halifax  he  had  devoted  himself  to  the  welfare  of  the  con- 
vent at  Brookside,  and  it  was  partly  in  the  name  of  his  past 
services  that  he  now  claimed  a  house  of  the  Religious  of 
the  Sacred  Heart  for  his  diocese.  In  writing  on  the  sub- 
ject to  Mother  Barat,  he  says: 

"  Although  it  is  not  becoming  to  boast  of  services  ren- 
dered, you  will  judge  of  my  motive  in  mentioning  that  for 
three  years  I  consecrated  more  than  half  of  my  time  in  look- 
ing after  the  Religious  of  the  Sacred  Heart  in  Halifax.  I 
was  chaplain,  confessor,  architect  and  business  agent  of  the 
Ladies.  It  has  pleased  God  to  change  the  scene  of  my 
labors  to  the  Bishopric  of  St.  John.  From  the  moment  of 
my  nomination  I  resolved,  with  the  help  of  God,  to  secure 
for  my  diocese  a  community  of  the  Religious  of  the  Sacred 
Heart.  On  arriving  here  I  was  strengthened  in  my  resolu- 
tion by  finding  that  at  least  eighty  Catholic  children  of  the 
most  respectable  families  were  attending  Protestant  schools. 
I  succeeded  in  persuading  the  wealthiest  parents  to  send 
their  daughters  to  the  Halifax  school,  promising  them  that 
within  two  years  I  would  have  a  Catholic  academy  here. 
For  this  purpose  I  applied  to  Madame  Hardey,  and  she 
graciously  transmitted  to  me  your  answer,  that  in  1855  my 
desires  should  be  realized.  In  the  meantime  it  has  pleased 
Our  Lord  to  afflict  us  with  cholera;  in  the  space  of  six 


ST.  JOHN,  N.  B.,  ROCHESTER,  LONDON 

weeks  more  than  six  hundred  families  were  attacked  by  it, 
leaving  seventy  orphans  on  my  hands." 

The  great-hearted  prelate  went  on  to  say  that  it  was  this 
urgent  necessity  which  led  him  to  apply  to  Mother  Hardey 
for  immediate  assistance,  and  that  he  did  so  in  the  convic- 
tion that  neither  she  nor  Mother  Barat  would  refuse  his 
request.  The  cry  of  the  orphans  touched  at  once  the  hearts 
of  Mother  Barat  and  Mother  Hardey,  and  hastened  the 
preparations  for  the  new  foundation.  When  Mother  Trin- 
cano  and  her  little  colony  arrived  in  September,  1854,  they 
were  cordially  welcomed  by  the  vicar  general,  who  con- 
gratulated them  on  being  the  first  nuns  to  set  foot  on  the 
soil  of  New  Brunswick.  A  small  house  had  been  prepared 
as  a  temporary  residence,  and  they  took  charge  at  once  of 
the  orphans.  Some  months  later  these  dear  children  were 
confided  to  the  care  of  the  Sisters  of  Charity,  whom  Bishop 
Connolly  introduced  into  the  diocese.  The  Religious  of  the 
Sacred  Heart  then  opened  an  academy  for  boarders  and  day 
scholars.  In  the  spring  of  1855  Mother  Hardey  went  to 
visit  her  daughters  in  their  new  home,  and  the  cheerfulness 
with  which  she  found  them  accepting  privations  and  labors 
led  her  to  speak  of  this  house  as  a  veritable  Nazareth. 
Though  her  stay  was  brief,  it  abounded  in  consolations  for 
the  little  family. 

We  read  in  the  annals :  "  Nothing  could  be  more  de- 
lightful than  to  listen  to  our  dear  Mother's  spiritual  con- 
ferences, especially  the  parting  one  in  which  she  urged  us  to 
find  our  strength  and  joy  in  imitating  the  life  of  Jesus  in 
the  Sacrament  of  His  love."  Mother  Hardey  always  took 
a  special  interest  in  the  prosperity  of  this  house,  and  when, 
in  later  years,  local  difficulties  and  the  limited  resources  of 
the  community  seemed  to  warrant  its  suppression,  she 
strongly  advocated  its  preservation.  The  convent  was  at 
last  closed  and  in  1897  the  religious  bade  farewell  to  a  mis- 
sion in  which  they  had  lovingly  labored  for  forty-two  years, 
feeling  that  they  had  been  more  than  amply  repaid  for  their 

183 


MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

hardships  and  sacrifices  by  the  solid  good  that  had  been 
effected,  especially  among  the  poor. 

As  early  as  1852  Mother  Barat  had  expressed  to  Bishop 
Timon  her  fears  that  Buffalo  would  not  prove  a  fruitful 
field  of  labor  for  her  Congregation.  Her  letter  drew  from 
the  saintly  prelate  the  following  reply :  "  All  are  aston- 
ished at  the  rapid  growth  of  Buffalo  and  the  progress  of 
religion  in  my  diocese.  If  I  am  not  mistaken,  there  are  few 
of  your  American  houses  which  will  procure  greater  glory 
to  the  Sacred  Heart  of  Jesus  than  this  establishment  is 
destined  to  accomplish,  if  you  will  only  have  patience  to 
wait  until  our  people  shall  have  recovered  from  the  effects 
of  the  terrible  scourge  which  has  diminished  our  popula- 
tion." 

After  referring  to  the  death  of  Mother  Cruice  and  the 
words  of  sympathy  and  gratitude  addressed  to  him  by 
Mother  Barat,  his  Lordship  adds :  "  I  was  greatly  touched 
by  all  that  you  have  written.  I  have  always  admired  and 
loved  your  holy  Institute.  Indeed,  I  could  not  help  taking  a 
lively  interest  in  the  religious  here.  I  beheld  in  Mother 
Cruice  a  soul  wholly  given  to  God.  During  their  affliction 
I  did  all  in  my  power  for  their  relief,  but  I  did  no  more  than 
God  had  a  right  to  expect  of  me,  and  I  trust  He  may  give 
me  the  grace  to  act  in  the  same  manner  if  other  misfortunes 
should  visit  them.  I  believe,  however,  that  the  time  of  trial 
is  past." 

This  touching  letter  appealed  strongly  to  the  heart  of 
Mother  Barat,  who  shrank  from  the  prospect  of  grieving  the 
good  bishop.  Hence,  in  reference  to  the  subject,  she  wrote 
to  Mother  Hardey :  "  I  neither  counsel  nor  command  any- 
thing in  this  matter.  I  have  learned  how  difficult  it  is  to 
give  a  judicious  decision  when  one  knows  neither  the  place 
nor  the  circumstances.  Do  what  you  think  is  for  the  best, 
after  consulting  those  whom  the  Good  Master  has  given  to 
assist  you.  I  suffer  extremely  in  realizing  that  I  have  only 
simple  compassion  to  offer  you,  for  I  know  what  a  feeble 

184 


1  Detroit  Convent 

2  Rochester,  N.  Y. 

3  Grosse  Pointe,  Mich. 


ST.  JOHN,  N.  B.,  ROCHESTER,  LONDON 

solace  it  is.  But  Jesus  is  our  refuge.  He  will  never  fail  us 
if  we  place  our  trust  in  Him  and  strive  to  serve  Him  with 
love  and  fidelity." 

Mother  Hardey  submitted  her  views  to  Bishop  Timon 
with  the  utmost  delicacy,  asking  his  permission  to  transfer 
the  community  from  Buffalo  to  Rochester.  He  consented, 
and  while  deploring  the  departure  of  the  religious  from  his 
episcopal  city,  he  wrote  to  Mother  Barat  that  he  found  a 
certain  compensation  in  the  fact  that  her  daughters  had  not 
been  withdrawn  from  his  diocese.  Rochester  was  erected 
into  a  separate  see  in  1868,  with  the  Right  Rev.  Bernard 
J.  McQuaid  as  its  first  bishop.  The  removal  to  Rochester 
took  place  on  June  26,  1855.  This  change  proved  to  have 
been  a  wise  one,  for  the  academy  soon  became  very  flourish- 
ing, and  after  a  few  years  a  free  school  was  opened  for  the 
children  of  the  neighborhood.  The  blessing  of  God  rested 
visibly  on  this  house  in  the  extraordinary  number  of  re- 
ligious vocations  it  gave  to  the  Society  year  after  year. 

In  the  summer  of  1856  we  find  Mother  Hardey  in 
Canada,  her  presence  being  necessary  to  settle  the  affairs 
of  the  convent  at  Saint  Vincent,  Isle  Jesus.  For  several 
years  the  patrons  of  the  academy  had  maintained  that  the 
necessity  of  crossing  the  river  during  the  winter  season  was 
a  serious  obstacle  to  the  success  of  the  Institute,  and,  in 
view  of  this  difficulty,  many  had  withdrawn  their  daugh- 
ters and  for  the  same  reason  others  were  deterred  from 
patronizing  the  school.  Ever  ready  to  consider  the  repre- 
sentations laid  before  her,  Mother  Hardey,  after  due  reflec- 
tion, determined  to  remove  the  academy  to  the  immediate 
vicinity  of  Montreal.  After  a  long  and  laborious  search  she 
found  a  desirable  location  near  the  village  of  Sault-au- 
Recollet,  which  owes  its  name  to  the  martyrdom  of  Father 
Viel,  a  devoted  Recollect,  who  was  slain  by  the  Hurons 
while  on  his  way  to  Quebec.  The  place  selected  as  the  site 
of  the  new  convent  was  on  the  banks  of  a  branch  of  the 
Ottawa,  and  at  the  time  of  Mother  Hardey's  visit  was  more 

185 


MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

or  less  of  a  wilderness.  It  has  since  been  transformed,  and 
the  surroundings  are  very  beautiful  and  picturesque.  A 
stately  Gothic  church  now  stands  beside  the  river,  a  smiling 
village  clusters  round  the  house  of  prayer,  while  upon  an 
eminence  within  sight  rises  the  novitiate  of  the  Jesuits. 
Towards  the  west  may  be  seen  the  Gothic  turrets  and 
handsome  dome  of  the  Convent  of  the  Sacred  Heart. 
Mother  Hardey  was  present  at  the  laying  of  the  corner 
stone,  August  17,  1856.  That  the  event  excited  universal 
interest  is  shown  by  the  following  extracts  from  a  Montreal 
newspaper  of  the  day: 

"  Our  citizens  displayed  the  greatest  zeal  in  their  efforts 
to  make  the  ceremony  imposing.  Along  the  route  from  the 
church  of  Sault-au-Recollet  to  the  site  of  the  new  convent 
banners  waved  and  garlands  of  green  and  arches  of  flowers 
made  a  beautiful  scene.  Towards  noon  an  immense  throng 
assembled  on  the  spot  to  receive  Monseigneur  Bourget,  who 
had  recently  returned  from  Europe.  Many  strangers  were 
present,  among  them  the  elite  of  the  surrounding  country, 
and  a  large  number  of  our  separated  brethren,  who  are 
always  attracted  by  the  pomp  and  solemnity  of  our  re- 
ligious ceremonies.  Suddenly  the  bells  rang  out,  the  can- 
non boomed,  music  was  heard,  and  a  squad  of  cavalry  gaily 
caparisoned  announced  the  coming  of  his  Lordship.  On 
arriving  Monseigneur  blessed  the  assembled  multitude  with 
paternal  pride.  Very  Rev.  Mr.  Granet,  Vicar  General  and 
Superior  of  St.  Sulpice,  pronounced  an  eloquent  discourse,  in 
which  he  depicted  in  glowing  terms  the  advantage  of  pos- 
sessing a  house  of  education  under  the  direction  of  the 
Ladies  of  the  Sacred  Heart.  The  words  of  his  text,  '  This 
is  the  House  of  God  and  Gate  of  Heaven/  were  developed 
in  accents  of  the  deepest  piety,  and  the  orator  concluded  by 
expressing  the  hope  that  from  generation  to  generation 
bands  of  virgins  would  succeed  one  another  in  this  favored 
sanctuary  about  to  be  raised  to  the  glory  of  that  Heart, 
whose  blessed  title  they  bear. 

1 86 


ST.  JOHN,  N.  B.,  ROCHESTER,  LONDON 

"  After  the  Benediction  of  the  Blessed  Sacrament,  which 
was  sung  by  the  pupils  of  the  Sacred  Heart,  the  procession 
moved  towards  the  spot  where  the  corner-stone  was  to  be 
blessed.  The  strains  of  martial  music,  the  floating  banners, 
the  brilliant  uniforms  of  the  military  and  the  lines  of  bishops 
and  priests  wearing  the  insignia  of  their  offices,  all  com- 
bined to  make  the  scene  both  solemn  and  memorable." 

Such  were  the  favorable  auspices  that  marked  the  foun- 
dation of  "  the  Sault."  In  1858  the  building  was  completed 
and  the  pupils  transferred  to  the  new  home.  St.  Vincent's 
ceased  to  exist,  but  before  leaving  it  Mother  Hardey  ani- 
mated her  daughters  to  a  deep  sense  of  gratitude  in  a  touch- 
ing conference  in  which  she  rehearsed  the  blessings  that  had 
rested  upon  the  home  they  were  about  to  abandon,  and  the 
bright  promises  which  the  future  seemed  to  hold  for  them 
in  the  new  abode.  By  the  appointment  of  Mother  Trincano 
as  Superior  of  "  the  Sault,"  Mother  Hardey  was  deprived 
of  the  valuable  assistance  of  one  who  for  ten  years  had 
proved  so  efficient  in  organizing  foundations,  training  the 
novices  and  governing  the  most  important  house  of  the 
vicariate.  But  when  there  was  need  of  a  sacrifice  Mother 
Hardey  never  considered  her  personal  loss  or  inconvenience, 
though  in  the  present  instance  she  acknowledged  that  in 
giving  up  Mother  Trincano  she  was  losing  her  right  arm. 

At  the  solicitation  of  Monseigneur  de  Charbonnel  in  the 
year  1852,  Mother  Hardey  established  a  house  in  Sandwich, 
then  included  in  the  Diocese  of  Toronto.  In  1856  the  diocese 
of  Mgr.  de  Charbonnel  was  divided  into  three,  Toronto, 
Hamilton,  and  London,  with  Mgr.  Pinsonnault  as  incum- 
bent of  the  last  named  see.  For  a  time  this  convent  shel- 
tered the  orphans  from  Detroit,  by  the  request  of  their 
benefactress,  Mrs.  Beaubien,  but  later  the  heirs  to  the 
estate  raised  objections  to  this  measure  and  the  children 
were  sent  back  to  their  first  home.  As  the  place  offered 
but  limited  resources  for  the  support  of 'a  first-class  acad- 
emy, Monseigneur  Pinsonnault  begged  for  the  transfer  of 

I87 


MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

the  community  to  London,  his  episcopal  city.  As  the  bishop 
in  taking  possession  had  promised  his  people  to  introduce 
the  Religious  of  the  Sacred  Heart  into  the  diocese,  he  wrote 
as  follows  to  Mother  Barat :  "  I  have  pledged  my  word  to 
my  people.  Would  you  oblige  me  to  break  it,  and  thereby 
draw  upon  myself  the  disagreeable  consequences  that  would 
surely  follow?  " 

Again  it  became  Mother  Hardey's  duty  to  decide  the 
important  question  of  breaking  up  an  existing  establish- 
ment, in  order  to  make  a  venture  in  a  new  field.  For  sev- 
eral reasons  her  position  was  difficult,  yet  she  recognized 
the  impossibility  of  supporting  the  house  in  Sandwich  and 
the  obligation  of  placing  her  daughters  in  a  sphere  where 
they  might  be  better  able  to  succeed.  She  decided,  there- 
fore, to  abandon  Sandwich,  and  open  an  academy  in  Lon- 
don. An  estate  called  Mount  Hope  was  secured  as  a  tem- 
porary residence,  and  on  August  18,  1859,  the  little  com- 
munity started  for  their  new  home.  Mourning  and  weeping 
followed  their  departure,  for  the  good  people  among  whom 
they  had  labored  for  seven  years  had  become  sincerely  at- 
tached to  them,  yet  they  generously  gave  every  assistance 
in  their  power,  even  transporting  to  London  all  the  furni- 
ture belonging  to  the  nuns. 

The  following  lines  from  one  who  was  a  pupil  at  Sand- 
wich will  show  how  much  Mother  Hardey  was  loved  and 
revered  by  the  children :  "  I  remember  especially  one  of  her 
visits,  when  the  pupils  received  her  with  a  joyful  greeting, 
in  which  our  sentiments  were  expressed  in  poetry  and  song. 
When  our  little  entertainment  was  over,  she  graciously  in- 
quired the  names  of  all  present,  addressing  to  each  in  turn 
words  of  kindness  and  encouragement.  I  was  then  eleven 
years  of  age,  very  homesick  and  unhappy  because  of  the 
separation  from  my  parents.  I  remained  at  school  only  to 
keep  my  promise  to  my  Catholic  mother  that  I  would  not 
ask  my  father,  who  was  a  Protestant,  to  take  me  home. 
Mother  Hardey's  sympathetic  heart  divined  the  cause  of 

188 


ST.  JOHN,  N.  B.,  ROCHESTER,  LONDON 

my  sadness.  That  same  evening  she  sent  for  me,  and  be- 
gan at  once  to  speak  to  me  gently,  but  with  such  earnest- 
ness that  I  can  never  forget  her  words.  She  told  me  it  was 
my  duty  to  acquire  a  Catholic  education,  that  later  I  might 
be  able  to  assist  my  mother  in  the  training  of  her  younger 
children.  Her  kind  advice  appealed  so  strongly  to  my  spirit 
of  faith  that  I  became  reconciled  for  a  time  to  my  school 
life.  After  some  months,  however,  my  longing  for  home 
returned  and  I  left  the  convent.  When  the  academy  was 
opened  in  London,  Mother  Hardey's  words  came  back  to 
me  so  forcibly  that  her  appeal  to  my  sense  of  duty  left  me 
no  peace,  and  I  asked  and  obtained  permission  to  enter  the 
school.  No  one  could  have  been  happier  than  I  was  during 
the  remainder  of  my  schooldays.  When  I  next  saw  the 
dear  Mother  I  had  heard  the  call  to  a  higher  life,  and  she 
strengthened  and  encouraged  me  to  be  faithful  to  grace. 
Her  every  word  was  full  of  light  and  consolation.  When, 
some  years  later,  I  arrived  at  Manhattanville,  she  welcomed 
me  with  that  warmth  of  affection  which  made  me  feel  that 
I  was  the  special  object  of  her  solicitude.  How  often  since 
that  happy  day  have  I  received  proofs  of  the  goodness  of 
her  heart,  which,  like  the  heart  of  Our  dear  Lord,  was 
boundless  in  its  charity." 

While  Mother  Hardey  was  occupied  in  promoting  the 
welfare  of  the  houses  of  her  Vicariate,  the  Manhattanville 
Novitiate  was  increasing  in  numbers  even  beyond  her  most 
ardent  hopes.  Within  the  space  of  a  few  months  nineteen 
postulants  had  entered,  three  of  whom  had  come  from 
Cuba,  where  a  house  of  the  Sacred  Heart  was  about  to  be 
opened  under  the  most  favorable  auspices.  Senora  Espino, 
a  lady  of  remarkable  faith  and  piety,  had  earnestly  prayed 
for  years  for  the  conversion  of  her  husband,  a  man  distin- 
guished for  high  moral  excellence,  but  estranged  from  the 
practice  of  his  religious  duties.  The  faithful  and  devoted 
wife  determined  to  win  from  Heaven  a  favorable  answer  to 
her  prayers,  by  dedicating  a  portion  of  her  wealth  to  a  work 

189 


MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

to  promote  the  glory  of  God  and  the  welfare  of  souls. 
She  submitted  to  her  husband  her  plan  of  establishing  a 
house  of  education  for  the  young  girls  of  their  native  city, 
and  received  his  most  cordial  sanction.  About  this  time 
Mother  Hardey  received  another  offer  from  a  Miss  Hen- 
riquetta  Purroy,  the  principal  of  a  select  school  in  Havana, 
to  transfer  her  pupils  to  the  Religious  of  the  Sacred  Heart 
and  to  become  herself  a  member  of  the  Society. 

When  Mother  Hardey  laid  these  advantageous  offers 
before  Mother  Barat  the  latter  hesitated  to  accept  them. 
"  I  am  told,"  she  wrote,  "  that  foreigners  are  especially 
liable  to  take  the  yellow  fever,  which  annually  visits  the 
island,  and  that,  consequently,  we  must  be  ready  to  lose 
many  of  our  subjects.  What  a  prospect !  I  do  not  shrink 
from  it,  for  God  is  all-powerful,  and  though  I  dread  the 
consequences,  I  cannot  refuse  the  opportunity  of  procuring 
His  glory.  The  fact  that  He  has  sent  you,  in  so  extraor- 
dinary a  way,  those  twenty  subjects,  should  excite  our  con- 
fidence and  our  abandonment  to  the  Divine  Heart."  Writ- 
ing again  on  the  subject  to  Mother  Hardey,  inspired  by  the 
twofold  sentiment  of  apprehension  for  her  daughters,  and  of 
zeal  for  the  glory  of  God,  the  Mother  General  concluded 
by  giving  the  signal  for  departure  in  these  simple  words: 
"  It  is  with  a  trembling  heart  that  I  say  to  you,  '  Go,  my 
dearest  Aloysia ! '  " 

Mother  Hardey,  who  had  eagerly  awaited  the  consent 
of  her  superior,  prepared  at  once  for  the  voyage,  and  em- 
barked at  New  York  for  Cuba  on  December  27,  1857,  ac- 
companied by  Mesdames  Tommasini  and  Fowler.  Before 
leaving  they  assisted  at  Mass  in  the  chapel  of  the  Seven- 
teenth Street  Convent,  and,  after  Holy  Communion,  the  cel- 
ebrant, Rev.  Father  Gresselin,  S.  J.,  unexpectedly  delivered 
a  brief  exhortation,  taking  for  his  text  the  passage  from  the 
Acts  of  the  Apostles :  And  they  fell  upon  Paul's  neck  weep- 
ing for  the  word  which  he  had  said  to  them,  that  "  they 
should  see  his  face  no  more."  These  words  seemed  to  fore- 

190 


ST.  JOHN,  N.  B.,  ROCHESTER,  LONDON 

bode  a  great  sorrow,  and  his  audience  was  deeply  affected. 
Surprised  by  the  emotion  he  witnessed,  the  preacher  sought 
to  turn  the  thoughts  of  his  hearers  into  a  new  channel,  but 
it  was  in  vain.  There  remained  in  all  hearts  a  vague  fear 
and  tears,  and  sobs  filled  the  parting  hour.  Mother  Hardey 
maintained  her  wonted  tranquillity  and  unshaken  trust  in 
Him  for  whose  glory  she  was  prepared  to  give  even  life 
itself. 

The  voyage  was  uneventful.  On  the  third  of  January, 
1858,  the  vessel  entered  the  harbor  of  Havana,  and  Mr.  and 
Mrs.  Espino  came  on  board  to  welcome  Mother  Hardey, 
whom  they  looked  upon  as  an  angel  bearing  the  blessings 
of  the  Heart  of  Jesus  to  the  young  generation  of  their 
native  city.  A  government  vessel,  manned  by  sailors  in  bril- 
liant uniforms,  conveyed  the  travellers  to  the  shore,  and 
they  were  conducted  by  their  benefactors  to  their  new 
home,  where  everything  had  been  prepared  for  their  re- 
ception. Mother  Hardey  began  to  make  at  once  arrange- 
ments for  the  opening  of  the  school,  as  Miss  Purroy  was 
already  prepared  to  transfer  her  pupils  to  the  new-comers. 
She  hastened  also  to  fulfil  the  requirements  which  business 
and  etiquette  demanded  by  calling  on  the  Captain  General 
of  the  Island.  Her  visit  to  this  functionary  was  attended 
with  the  most  satisfactory  results.  But,  as  usual,  trials  were 
awaiting  her. 

On  the  fifth  of  February,  while  walking  in  the  garden 
with  Madame  Tommasini,  she  was  suddenly  attacked  with 
violent  pains  in  her  back  and  other  alarming  symptoms  of 
serious  sickness  declared  themselves.  The  consternation 
was  general ;  a  physician  was  hastily  summoned,  and  he 
pronounced  her  illness  a  case  of  yellow  fever.  The  patient 
received  the  news  with  perfect  tranquillity  and  an  entire 
resignation  of  herself  and  her  mission  into  the  hands  of 
God.  The  end  seemed  to  have  come,  for  the  remedies 
applied  were  of  no  avail.  Her  strength  was  rapidly  failing, 
and  a  fatal  termination  of  the  disease  was  apprehended, 

191 


MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

when  a  young  girl  named  Rafaela  Donosa,  called  at  the 
convent  to  solicit  admission  as  a  lay  sister.  Having  learned 
with  deep  regret  of  Mother  Hardey's  dangerous  illness,  she 
believed,  in  the  simplicity  of  her  guileless  nature,  that  it 
was  possible  to  obtain  her  cure.  Hastening  to  the  Jesuit 
church,  she  prayed  long  and  lovingly  for  the  recovery  of 
the  Mother  upon  whom  her  entrance  into  the  Society  de- 
pended, and  entering  into  a  compact,  as  it  were,  with  Our 
Lord,  she  offered  to  spend  three  extra  days  in  purgatory 
after  her  death,  if  Mother  Hardey  were  restored  to  health 
and  she  was  admitted  as  a  postulant.  Was  it  the  prayer  of 
faith  from  that  innocent  soul  which  wrought  the  miracle? 

While  Rafaela  was  pleading  before  the  tabernacle,  Miss 
Purroy  heard  of  Mother  Hardey's  illness,  and  hastened  to 
offer  her  services  as  nurse.  She  suggested  that  almond  oil 
should  be  tried  as  a  last  resource,  but  Mother  Hardey  ob- 
jected that  the  doctor  had  not  prescribed  it,  and  she  was 
bound  by  rule  to  obey  his  orders.  Miss  Purroy  appealed 
to  the  Superior  of  the  Jesuits,  who  was  then  in  the  house, 
asking  him  to  put  Mother  Hardey  under  obedience  to  take 
the  proposed  remedy,  as  her  case  was  a  matter  of  life  or 
death.  The  priest  went  immediately  to  the  bedside  of  the 
invalid,  spoke  to  her  briefly  of  her  dangerous  condition  and 
urging  the  use  of  the  remedy  proposed.  Mother  Hardey 
calmly  replied,  "  Reverend  Father,  the  doctor  has  not  or- 
dered it."  Prepared  for  this  objection,  he  answered:  "I 
know  your  Rule  enjoins  upon  you  obedience  to  the  pre- 
scriptions of  your  physicians,  but  I  ask  you  in  obedience  to 
your  confessor  to  take  the  oil,  and  allow  Miss  Purroy  to  do 
for  you  whatever  her  judgment  and  experience  may  sug- 
gest." Looking  upon  her  confessor  as  the  representative 
of  God,  Mother  Hardey  at  once  consented.  The  priest 
blessed  the  medicine,  and  the  effect  was  marvelous,  after 
several  doses  had  been  taken.  In  a  few  days  the  crisis  was 
passed,  and  the  patient  pronounced  out  of  danger. 

The  admirable  equanimity  with  which  she  had  resigned 

192 


ST.  JOHN,  N.  B.,  ROCHESTER,  LONDON 

herself  to  die,  marked  also  her  acceptance  of  returning 
health.  This  perfect  self-possession  hastened  her  recovery, 
and  after  the  lapse  of  a  few  weeks  she  was  again  actively 
employed  in  preparing  for  the  arrival  of  the  little  colony 
which  she  had  summoned  from  Manhattanville.  The  acad- 
emy was  opened  with  forty-five  boarders  on  the  Feast  of 
Saint  Joseph,  the  patron  of  the  Captain  General,  who  had 
expressed  a  desire  to  be  present  on  the  occasion,  and  Mr. 
and  Mrs.  Espino  offered  to  do  the  honors  of  the  reception. 
About  eleven  o'clock  the  pupils  arrived,  accompanied  by 
their  parents,  and  a  large  number  of  the  most  distinguished 
citizens  of  Havana.  Then,  when  all  had  assembled,  the 
sound  of  military  music  announced  the  advent  of  the  Cap- 
tain General.  Having  testified  his  great  pleasure  in  being 
permitted  to  attend  the  ceremonies,  he  listened  with  deep 
interest  to  a  discourse  on  Christian  education  delivered  by 
the  most  eloquent  preacher  in  the  city,  and  before  leaving 
he  renewed  his  offer  of  service  to  Mother  Hardey,  with  the 
assurance  that  he  would  consider  it  a  pleasure  to  protect 
the  interests  of  the  Academy  of  the  Sacred  Heart. 

As  soon  as  the  pupils  of  Miss  Purroy's  school  had  been 
received  and  the  classes  organized,  Mother  Hardey  felt  that 
her  mission  in  Havana  was  accomplished,  and  confiding  the 
charge  of  the  house  to  Madame  Justina  Casanova  Lay,  who 
had  taken  her  first  vows  at  Manhattanville  only  a  few  weeks 
previous,  prepared  to  depart. 

A  brief  account  of  Madame  Casanova  Lay  may  be  of 
interest  to  our  readers.  God  had  seemed  to  predestine  her  in 
a  special  manner  for  His  service  in  the  Society.  From  her 
earliest  childhood  she  was  noted  for  the  most  amiable  qual- 
ities, but  that  which  particularly  distinguished  her,  was  an 
unbounded  charity  towards  the  poor  and  suffering  members 
of  Jesus  Christ,  a  virtue  which  was  an  inheritance  from  her 
parents,  whose  house  was  a  place  of  refuge  for  the  afflicted 
of  every  class.  At  the  age  of  twenty-two  Justina  married, 
but  hardly  had  she  begun  to  enjoy  domestic  bliss  when  a 

13  193 


MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

threefold  sorrow  fell  upon  her,  in  the  death  of  her  husband, 
father  and  mother.  From  that  time  she  devoted  herself  ex- 
clusively to  prayer  and  works  of  charity.  She  determined  to 
enter  a  convent,  but  eleven  years  were  to  elapse  before  the 
fulfilment  of  her  holy  purpose,  for  it  seemed  that  she  had 
yet  to  accomplish  a  great  mission  of  charity  in  behalf  of 
others. 

In  1852,  when  the  cholera  swept  over  her  native  city, 
Santiago  de  Cuba,  she  spared  neither  her  strength  nor  her 
fortune  in  ministering  to  the  victims  of  the  scourge.  She 
entered  the  homes  of  the  plague-stricken,  prepared  them 
for  the  reception  of  the  Last  Sacraments,  and  when  those 
who  succumbed  to  the  epidemic  were  poor,  she  paid  the 
expenses  of  their  burial.  It  is  not  surprising  that  Madame 
Lay  was  revered  by  rich  and  poor  alike  as  an  angel  of  bene- 
diction. After  the  cessation  of  the  cholera  she  resolved  to 
go  to  Europe  in  order  to  execute  her  long  cherished  plan  lo 
become  a  religious,  but  Divine  Providence  guided  her  steps 
to  Manhattanville.  She  went  to  New  York  to  visit  her 
brother,  who  resided  there,  and  by  him  she  was  presented 
to  Reverend  Mother  Hardey,  and,  later,  admitted  by  her 
into  the  Novitiate. 

It  was  soon  evident  that  Madame  Lay  was  well  fitted 
for  positions  of  trust  in  the  Society,  and  Mother  Hardey 
took  special  pains  to  initiate  her  into  the  true  spirit  of  the 
Sacred  Heart,  with  the  view  of  confiding  to  her  the  new 
foundation  to  be  made  in  Havana.  Her  expectations  were 
fully  realized.  Under  Madame  Lay's  gentle  government 
and  enlightened  experience  the  new  establishment  prospered 
beyond  her  most  sanguine  hopes.  The  first  act  of  Madame 
Lay's  administration  was  a  solemn  promise  made  to  our 
Blessed  Lady  that  on  every  Saturday  for  one  year  both 
religious  and  pupils  would  unite  in  singing  the  "  Mag- 
nificat "  in  their  little  chapel,  in  thanksgiving  for  Mother 
Hardey's  recovery.  With  this  affectionate  farewell  Mother 

194 


ST.  JOHN,  N.  B.,  ROCHESTER,  LONDON 

Hardey  sailed  from  Havana  on  the  thirtieth  of  March  and 
reached  New  York  on  Easter  Sunday. 

Wishing  to  spare  her  daughters  any  anxiety  she  had 
given  orders  during  her  illness  that  the  news  should  not  be 
communicated  to  the  houses  of  her  Vicariate,  but  while  the 
Manhattanville  community  was  preparing  to  greet  their 
loved  Mother  with  a  joyous  welcome,  a  letter  was  received 
from  the  father  of  one  of  their  Cuban  pupils,  the  first  words 
of  which  were :  "  Thank  God,  Madame  Hardey  is  out  of 
danger."  Mother  Boudreau  read  the  startling  news  at  the 
noon  recreation,  and  the  consternation  of  all  present  can 
be  better  imagined  than  described.  The  happiness  of  seeing 
their  beloved  Mother  again  in  their  midst  can  be  measured 
only  by  the  intense  grief  which  the  unexpected  news  of  her 
illness  had  caused.  Her  presence  to  her  dear  family  seemed 
like  a  resurrection,  and  it  added  a  deeper  note  of  thanksgiv- 
ing to  the  Easter  joys. 

Mother  Boudreau,  the  Mistress  General  of  Manhattan- 
ville, in  token  of  gratitude  for  Mother  Hardey's  recovery, 
fitted  up  a  beautiful  sanctuary  in  honor  of  our  Blessed  Lady, 
long  known  as  the  Chapel  of  Mater  Admirabilis.  In  it 
she  placed  a  painting  of  the  famous  fresco  of  the  Madonna 
in  the  convent  of  the  Trinita  in  Rome.  The  Virgin  of  the 
Temple  appealed  forcibly  to  the  hearts  of  the  children,  as 
with  her  spinning  wheel,  open  book,  and  lily  by  her  side, 
she  is  held  up  as  a  model  of  a  life  of  purity,  prayer  and  labor. 
This  exquisite  painting  is  still  preserved  at  Manhattanville 
as  a  precious  relic  of  bygone  days,  days  of  Mother  Hardey, 
Mothers  Boudreau,  Jones  and  Tommasini,  and  their  de- 
voted pupils.  During  the  destruction  by  fire  of  Manhattan- 
ville Convent  in  1888,  it  was  rescued  from  the  flames,  and 
it  now  adorns  the  Lady  Chapel,  the  affectionate  tribute  of 
the  Alumnae  of  the  Academy  in  memory  of  the  Golden  Ju- 
bilee of  1894. 

Mother  Hardey  herself  had  made  a  promise  during  her 
illness  that  if  restored  to  health  she  would  undertake  some 

195 


MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

special  work  for  the  increase  of  devotion  to  the  Sacred 
Heart.  In  her  profound  humility  she  failed  to  see  that  her 
whole  life  had  been  devoted  to  that  object.  Her  first  care 
on  her  return  home  was  to  ask  advice  as  to  the  best  means 
of  fulfilling  her  promise.  A  Jesuit  Father  suggested  the 
translation  of  Gautrelet's  "  Month  of  the  Sacred  Heart." 
The  work  was  begun  and  soon  after  given  to  the  press. 
It  was  the  first  publication  of  the  kind  issued  in  the  United 
States.  Mother  Hardey  was  also  the  first  promoter  of  the 
Association  of  the  Holy  Childhood  in  New  York,  as  we 
learn  from  the  following  account  from  the  pen  of  Reverend 
Father  Daniel  of  Montreal,  Director  General  of  the  Asso- 
ciation : 

"  At  one  of  my  visits  to  Manhattanville  I  availed  my- 
self of  the  opportunity  to  solicit  the  help  of  Mother  Hardey 
in  establishing  the  work  of  the  Holy  Childhood  in  the 
United  States.  She  readily  consented,  and  I  returned  home 
proud  and  happy  in  the  promise  of  her  assistance,  and  lov- 
ing the  Society  of  the  Sacred  Heart  more  than  ever.  Some 
weeks  later,  I  received  a  letter  from  Rev.  Francis  Mc- 
Neirny,  Secretary  of  Archbishop  Hughes,  informing  me 
that  his  Grace  preferred  to  wait  two  years  before  authoriz- 
ing the  foundation  of  my  work,  in  order  to  establish  more 
firmly  the  Propagation  of  the  Faith  in  his  diocese.  Frus- 
trated in  my  plans,  I  turned  again  to  Mother  Hardey. 
Touched  by  my  letter  she  answered,  '  Do  not  be  troubled.  I 
shall  arrange  matters  to  your  satisfaction.'  Oh,  what  a 
marvelous  mind  she  had,  and  how  rich  in  resources !  She 
at  once  set  Madame  Catherine  White  the  task  of  composing 
thrilling  drama,  picturing  the  desolation  and  anguish  of  a 
hinese  mother,  whose  child  was  torn  from  her  arms  and 
rown  to  the  dogs.  The  most  pathetic  part  in  the  drama 
as  given  to  the  niece  of  Archbishop  Hughes,  and  his 
Grace  was  invited  to  witness  the  play.  As  had  been  antici- 
pated the  tender-hearted  prelate  was  affected  even  to  tears. 
Availing  herself  of  the  most  favorable  moment,  Miss  An- 

196 


ST.  JOHN,  N.  B.,  ROCHESTER,  LONDON 

gela,  still  robed  in  her  Chinese  costume,  knelt  before  her 
uncle,  and  begged  him  to  sanction  the  work  of  the  Holy 
Childhood.  '  With  all  my  heart/  the  Archbishop  answered, 
'  let  Mother  Hardey  inaugurate  it ! '  The  cause  was  gained. 
The  Association  was  started  in  all  the  schools  of  the  Sacred 
Heart,  and  soon  by  request  of  the  Archbishop  himself  the 
work  was  begun  in  nearly  all  the  churches  of  the  New 
York  diocese." 

It  will  perhaps  be  proper  to  close  this  chapter  with  a 
brief  sketch  of  Rafaela  Donosa,  the  young  candidate  who 
had  made  such  a  heroic  sacrifice  to  obtain  Mother  Hardey's 
speedy  recovery  from  yellow  fever.  Having  been  re- 
ceived as  a  lay  sister  in  the  community,  she  was  remark- 
able during  her  short  religious  life  for  her  faithful  observ- 
ance of  rule,  and  her  ardent  love  for  Jesus  in  the  Blessed 
Sacrament.  A  few  months  before  her  death,  as  the  Sisters 
were  telling  at  recreation  on  what  days  they  would  prefer 
to  die,  Sister  Rafaela  declared  she  would  choose  the  Feast 
of  the  Assumption. 

"  But  that  would  deprive  us  of  the  Exposition  of  the 
Blessed  Sacrament,"  remarked  one  of  the  Sisters.  "  Oh, 
no !  "  replied  Sister  Rafaela,  as  if  assured  of  the  fact,  "  I 
will  die  only  after  the  Blessed  Sacrament  has  been  exposed. 
My  corpse  will  be  carried  to  the  chapel  after  Benediction, 
and  I  shall  be  buried  next  morning  after  Mass."  Her  pre- 
diction was  literally  fulfilled.  Some  days  before  the  Feast 
of  the  Assumption  she  became  dangerously  ill.  Her  suffer- 
ings were  very  great,  and  the  fever  so  intense  that  those 
who  approached  her  bedside  felt  something  of  the  extreme 
heat  which  was  devouring  her  frame.  For  three  days  she 
lay  motionless,  her  hands  joined  in  an  attitude  of  prayer, 
her  lips  silent,  save  to  hold  occasional  colloquies  with  Jesus 
and  His  Blessed  Mother.  On  the  I5th  of  August,  while  the 
chaplain  was  exposing  the  Blessed  Sacrament  after  the 
Mass,  she  surrendered  her  beautiful  soul  into  the  hands  of 
her  Creator.  After  Benediction  her  body  was  borne  to  the 

197 


MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

chapel,  and  the  following  morning,  after  the  requiem  Mass, 
it  was  consigned  to  the  tomb.  She  left  behind  her  the  pious 
belief  that  the  three  days  of  agony  preceding  her  death  were 
the  three  days  of  suffering  which  she  had  so  generously 
offered  to  undergo  if  Mother  Hardey's  life  were  spared. 


198 


CHAPTER  XVIII. 

MANHATTANVILLE  PUPILS — LETTERS  OF  ARCHBISHOP  HUGHES 
AND  MOTHER  BARAT — SOJOURN  OF  THE  BISHOP  OF 
PUEBLA  AT  MANHATTANVILLE — FOUNDATION  AT  KEN- 
WOOD— 1858-1860. 

The  years  which  immediately  follow  Mother  Hardey's 
restoration  to  health  are  so  full  of  her  active  zeal  in  extend- 
ing the  reign  of  Christ,  and  so  rich  in  good  works,  that  we 
are  necessarily  obliged  to  omit  many  events  which  would 
be  of  interest  and  edification  to  our  readers. 

In  the  summer  of  1858,  she  began  the  work  of  enlarging 
the  chapel  of  Manhattanville,  a  measure  necessitated  by  the 
rapid  growth  of  the  boarding  school,  which  numbered  over 
two  hundred  pupils.  Within  that  year  she  had  the  con- 
solation of  seeing  twelve  of  the  children  received  into  the 
Church,  with  the  full  consent  of  their  parents.  Among 
these  converts  was  Mary  A.,  a  young  girl  endowed  with 
more  than  ordinary  gifts  of  mind,  who  had  entered  the 
academy  strongly  prejudiced  against  the  Catholic  Faith. 
Its  tenets  were  repugnant  to  her  intellect  and  many  of  its 
practices  and  devotions  offensive  to  her  ideas  of  propriety. 
After  a  year  spent  in  the  school  she  was  still  so  bitterly 
opposed  to  the  Church  that  on  Good  Friday,  while  assisting 
at  the  Way  of  the  Cross  she  suddenly  quitted  the  chapel, 
condemning  within  herself  the  solemn  devotion  as  a  species 
of  idolatry. 

For  some  time  she  wandered  alone  through  the  adjacent 
parlors,  left  to  her  own  bitter  reflections,  but,  strange  to  say, 
the  hour  of  her  greatest  repugnance  became  the  time  of 
God's  visitation.  The  Faith,  which  a  few  moments  before 
had  seemed  so  false  and  meaningless,  now  rose  before  her 
in  all  the  brightness  of  a  divine  revelation.  A  few  months 

199 


MARY  ALOYS1A  HARDEY 

later  she  became  a  Catholic,  and  Mother  Hardey  had  the 
happiness  of  seeing  her  changed  into  a  zealous  apostle  of 
the  true  Church.  Full  of  joy  in  the  possession  of  her  new- 
found treasure,  Mary  sought  to  convert  her  much  loved 
friend,  Ultima  M.,  a  young  girl  of  her  own  age.  She  prayed 
and  obtained  prayers  of  others,  adopting  various  practices 
of  devotion  and  penance,  all  having  for  their  object  the  con- 
version of  her  friend.  Her  zeal  was  rewarded,  for  some 
months  later  Ultima  became  a  most  ardent  child  of 
the  Church.  Both  young  girls  were  the  pride  and  honor  of 
the  Manhattanville  school,  and  their  influence  for  good  was 
equally  felt  in  their  own  home  circles. 

Mary  A.'s  father  had  been  baptized  a  Catholic,  but  hav- 
ing married  a  Protestant  he  abandoned  the  Church  and 
allowed  his  children  to  be  reared  in  their  mother's  religion. 
Mary  had  the  consolation  of  seeing  her  father  return  to  the 
Faith  of  his  childhood,  and  of  bringing  her  mother  and  three 
sisters  into  the  Church.  After  fulfilling  a  mission  of  useful- 
ness at  home,  she  entered  the  Novitiate  of  Manhattanville, 
whither  she  was  followed  a  few  years  later  by  her  younger 
sister  Blanche.  Ultima  M.  married  and  settled  in  Cuba. 
She  became  a  model  wife  and  mother.  During  the  insurrec- 
tion in  1868,  Mr.  S.,  her  husband,  was  forced  to  give  hos- 
pitality to  the  officers  of  a  Spanish  regiment,  which  had 
been  quartered  on  his  plantation.  Through  their  unwel- 
come guests  it  was  learned  that  fourteen  young  men,  be- 
longing to  the  best  families  in  Havana,  were  held  prisoners 
in  the  camp,  and  had  been  condemned  to  be  executed.  Mrs. 
S.  resolved  to  make  an  effort  to  save  them.  She  invited  the 
officers  to  a  sumptuous  banquet,  which  was  followed  by  a 
musical  entertainment.  The  commanding  officer  was  so 
entranced  by  her  magnificent  voice  and  superb  execution 
on  the  harp,  that  he  swore  in  true  cavalier  style  he  was 
ready  to  grant  any  favor  his  fair  hostess  might  do  him  the 
honor  to  ask.  After  a  moment's  pause,  Mrs.  S.  called  upon 
her  guests  to  witness  the  declaration,  then,  throwing  her- 

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MANHATTANVILLE  PUPILS 

self  on  her  knees  before  the  officer,  she  begged  him  to 
grant  her  the  life  and  liberty  of  his  prisoners. 

Though  startled  by  the  request,  the  Spanish  soldier  was 
too  chivalrous  to  break  his  word.  The  prisoners  were  re- 
leased, but  before  their  departure,  at  the  earnest  solicitation 
of  their  gracious  deliverer,  they  made  their  peace  with  God 
in  the  reception  of  the  Sacraments  of  Penance  and  the  Holy 
Eucharist.  A  few  years  later  this  noble  woman  died  a  mar- 
tyr to  her  charity.  While  nursing  a  sick  slave  she  con- 
tracted the  disease  of  the  sufferer,  and,  realizing  that  her 
days  were  numbered,  she  exacted  from  her  husband  the 
promise  that  her  two  daughters  should  be  educated  at  Man- 
hattanville.  It  was  one  of  these  young  girls  who  was  chosen 
to  read  the  touching  panegyric  of  Mother  Hardey  at  the 
closing  exercises  of  the  scholastic  year,  June,  1886. 

Another  interesting  conversion  was  that  of  Leila  R.,  a 
child  only  seven  years  of  age,  whose  heart  had  been  touched 
by  grace,  and  inspired  with  the  desire  of  becoming  a  Catho- 
lic. Every  day  the  innocent  child  spent  a  part  of  her  recrea- 
tion in  making  visits  to  the  altars  of  Jesus,  Mary  and  Joseph 
to  implore  the  desired  favor.  The  first  time  she  asked  her 
mother's  permission  to  be  baptized  it  was  positively  re- 
fused. Again  and  again  she  repeated  her  request,  at  each 
succeeding  visit,  but  without  success.  One  day  the  mother 
having  been  kept  waiting  a  long  time  in  the  parlor  for  the 
child,  asked  her  the  reason  of  the  delay.  Leila  answered  that 
she  had  gone  first  to  the  altar  of  the  Blessed  Virgin  to  ask 
her  to  touch  her  mother's  heart.  Profoundly  moved  by  the 
piety  and  perseverance  of  her  little  girl,  Mrs.  R.  answered: 
"  Well,  Leila,  if  it  will  make  you  happier,  I  am  willing  you 
should  be  a  Catholic."  At  these  words  Leila  rushed  out  of 
the  parlor  to  the  Mistress  General,  whom  she  brought  by 
the  hand  to  her  mother,  saying:  "Mamma,  please  tell 
Mother  Boudreau  what  you  have  just  said,  for  she  might 
not  believe  me!"  The  happiness  of  the  child  was  at  its 
height,  but  no  sooner  had  she  been  regenerated  in  the  waters 

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MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

of  Baptism  than  she  turned  all  her  efforts  towards  obtaining 
the  same  favor  for  her  mother.  Her  pleadings  were  directed 
to  the  Heart  of  Jesus  in  the  Eucharist. 

Once  when  she  had  passed  a  whole  hour  upon  her  knees 
before  the  Tabernacle,  being  asked  how  she  could  find 
enough  to  say  for  so  long  a  time,  the  child  answered  with 
charming  simplicity :  "  I  do  not  know  how  to  say  beautiful 
prayers,  but  I  just  talk  to  Jesus.  Perhaps  I  do  not  say  just 
what  I  should,  but  I  tell  Him  over  and  over  again  not  to 
let  mamma  die  without  Baptism."  The  health  of  Mrs.  R. 
soon  became  impaired.  During  the  Christmas  holidays  Leila 
taught  her  all  she  knew  of  the  little  Catechism,  and,  in  the 
month  of  January,  the  sick  woman,  seeing  death  was  not 
far  off,  wrote  a  very  touching  letter  to  Mother  Hardey, 
begging  her  to  come  to  visit  her,  since  she  was  unable  to  go 
to  Manhattanville.  In  an  affectionate  reply,  Mother  Hardey 
wrote  that  the  Rule  did  not  permit  her  to  visit,  but  she 
would  send  a  friend,  much  better  able  to  give  her  peace  and 
consolation. 

She  asked  a  Jesuit  Father  to  call  upon  Mrs.  R.,  and 
he  prepared  her  for  her  abjuration  and  reception  into  the 
Church,  and  baptized  her  younger  daughter  for  whom  little 
Leila  was  sponsor.  Shortly  after  this  touching  ceremony 
Mrs.  R.  breathed  her  last,  in  sentiments  of  peace  and  con- 
fidence in  the  mercy  of  that  God  whom  she  had  only  known 
and  loved  at  the  eleventh  hour.  This  triple  baptism  was  a 
great  joy  to  Mother  Hardey,  whose  only  desire  was  the  con- 
quest of  souls.  She  never  lost  an  opportunity  of  doing  good, 
and  God  seemed  to  take  pleasure  in  multiplying  the  works 
of  zeal  and  charity  so  lovingly  undertaken  and  so  gloriously 
crowned. 

One  day,  while  walking  with  the  community  at  the  re- 
creation, she  met  a  poor  negress  who  had  come  to  beg  food 
and  clothing  for  her  family.  Mother  Hardey  questioned  her 
about  her  religion  and  occupation,  and  learning  that  neither 
she  nor  her  children  had  ever  been  baptized,  she  told  the 

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MANHATTANVILLE  PUPILS 

woman  to  bring  her  children  the  next  day.  Finding  that  the 
two  youngest  were  very  frail  and  sickly,  she  decided  to  have 
them  baptized  as  soon  as  possible.  The  pupils  were  in- 
formed of  the  ceremony,  and  godmothers  selected  among 
the  Children  of  Mary,  who,  appreciating  the  privilege,  at 
once  prepared  suitable  clothes  for  the  occasion.  At  the  ap- 
pointed time  three  candidates  for  Baptism  appeared,  one,  a 
little  boy  of  seven  years,  for  whom  they  had  to  take  an 
acolyte's  surplice  to  cover  his  rags.  The  father  of  this  in- 
teresting family  remained  in  a  corner  of  the  chapel  observ- 
ing everything  very  attentively.  His  good  wife,  greatly 
touched  by  the  charity  and  gifts  bestowed  upon  herself  and 
her  little  ones,  after  a  bountiful  repast  declared  her  intention 
of  "  getting  religion  "  herself  as  soon  as  she  could. 

Before  long  she  was  sufficiently  prepared  to  be  baptized, 
and  even  to  receive  Holy  Communion  and  Confirmation 
with  the  older  children.  Her  two  youngest  died  in  their 
baptismal  innocence.  Strong  in  her  faith,  the  good  mother, 
notwithstanding  the  reproaches  of  her  husband,  refused  to 
have  the  children  buried  in  a  Protestant  graveyard,  though 
the  burial  was  offered  her  gratis.  As  soon  as  Mother  Har- 
dey  was  informed  of  the  condition  of  affairs,  she  charged 
herself  with  the  expenses  of  the  funeral,  and  continued  to 
bestow  so  much  kindness  on  the  family  that  she  had  the 
happiness  of  seeing  the  husband  baptized  and  the  marriage 
ceremony  performed  in  the  Manhattanville  chapel. 

By  request  of  Archbishop  Hughes,  in  1858,  Mother  Har- 
dey  offered  hospitality  to  Mgr.  de  la  Bastida,  Bishop  of  La 
Puebla  Mexico,  the  first  victim  of  a  violent  persecution  of 
the  Mexican  hierarchy  by  the  government  of  the  country,  for 
refusing  to  endorse  the  sequestration  of  property  belonging 
to  the  Church.  He  had  been  seized  by  the  soldiery  and 
forced  to  leave  not  only  his  palace  and  his  diocese,  but  even 
his  country,  without  time  to  say  farewell  to  his  sisters  who 
lived  in  his  palace,  and  to  whom  he  had  been  a  father  and 
protector.  After  three  years  of  exile  in  Rome,  he  set  out 

203 


MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

for  America,  having  learned  that  the  clerical  party  in 
Mexico  had  triumphed.  He  arrived  too  late,  for  ere  he 
reached  New  York  the  Liberals  had  been  returned  to  power. 
Unwilling  to  be  at  a  great  distance  from  his  flock  in  case  of 
an  opportunity  to  return  to  his  diocese,  the  bishop  grate- 
fully accepted  the  offer  of  a  home  at  Manhattanville,  where 
the  stone  house  on  the  grounds  was  fitted  up  for  his  accom- 
modation. 

Mother  Hardey  refused  to  yield  to  others  the  super- 
intendence of  the  preparations  for  his  arrival.  "  I  feel,"  she 
said,  "  as  if  we  were  about  to  receive  one  of  the  twelve 
Apostles."  She  always  spoke  of  the  bishop's  sojourn  as  a 
time  of  special  blessings  to  her  house.  We  find  in  her  letter 
written  to  Mother  Barat  on  the  eve  of  the  bishop's  de- 
parture for  Europe,  the  following  lines :  "  The  exiled  bishop 
from  Mexico,  who  occupied  the  cottage  on  the  grounds,  will 
probably  be  the  bearer  of  this  letter.  He  will  give  you  news 
of  us,  but  he  will  not  be  likely  to  tell  you  that  he  has  beer. 
a  channel  of  benedictions  to  your  family  of  Manhattanville. 
During  the  past  twelve  months  he  has  given  the  veil  to  ten 
choir  postulants,  and  six  others  are  to  be  received  on  the 
Feast  of  St.  Stanislaus.  When  he  arrived  here  there  were 
no  postulants  in  the  Novitiate.  The  school  has  also  been 
the  object  of  his  special  interest.  Eight  of  our  Protestant 
children  have  received  Baptism  at  his  hands." 

The  bishop  had  fully  appreciated  Mother  Hardey's  kind- 
ness. One  of  the  religious  gave  him  lessons  in  English,  she 
herself  taught  him  French,  and  everyone  endeavored  to 
make  him  forget  the  bitterness  of  exile.  Twenty-four  years 
later,  when  the  venerable  prelate  was  restored  to  his 
country  and  appointed  Archbishop  of  Mexico,  he  in- 
vited the  Religious  of  the  Sacred  Heart  to  establish  a  con- 
vent in  his  episcopal  city.  It  was  Mother  Hardey's  gracious 
hospitality  which  thus  opened  the  way  to  this  new  field  of 
labor,  where  the  Institute  so  dear  to  her  in  life  is  at  present 
reaping  a  plentiful  harvest  of  souls  in  four  of  the  principal 

204 


MANHATTANVILLE  PUPILS 

cities  of  the  republic.  During  the  bishop's  sojourn  at  Man- 
hattanville  an  unfortunate  incident  occurred,  which  shows 
how  trials  were  wont  to  be  mingled  with  Mother  Hardey's 
joys.  The  chaplain  of  the  convent  was  afflicted  with  an  in- 
curable disease,  which  was  gradually  undermining  his  men- 
tal faculties,  though  the  fact  was  not  then  suspected. 
Strange  as  it  appeared  at  the  time,  he  showed  annoyance 
whenever  the  ceremonies  in  the  chapel  were  performed  by 
the  bishop,  and  one  Sunday  afternoon  as  the  prelate  was 
entering  the  sanctuary  to  give  Benediction  of  the  Blessed 
Sacrament,  he  hastily  stepped  forward  and  proceeded  to 
officiate,  while  the  bishop  withdrew  to  his  priedieu,  sur- 
prised and  mortified  at  the  insult  offered  him.  On  leaving 
the  chapel  the  first  person  he  met  was  President  Comon- 
fort  of  Mexico,  whose  two  daughters  were  pupils  at  Man- 
hattanville.  The  bishop  naturally  inferred  that  in  deference 
to  this  official  Mother  Hardey  did  not  wish  him  to  officiate 
at  the  Benediction,  as  it  was  Comonfort  who  had  banished 
him  from  Mexico. 

Unconscious  of  this  interpretation  of  his  Lordship, 
Mother  Hardey,  who  felt  keenly  the  insult  offered  to  the 
bishop,  went  to  the  cottage  to  apologize  as  best  she  could 
for  the  chaplain's  conduct.  To  her  consternation  she  was 
told  that  the  bishop  refused  to  see  her.  No  explanation  was 
given  for  several  days,  and  by  mere  chance  she  learned  that 
the  bishop's  displeasure  was  directed  against  herself.  For- 
tunately, the  explanation  of  his  secretary,  and  new  freaks 
on  the  part  of  the  chaplain,  soon  made  the  truth  clear.  It 
is  needless  to  add  that  his  Lordship  made  touching  repara- 
tion to  Mother  Hardey  for  his  unjust  suspicions,  which  at- 
tending circumstances  seemed  to  justify. 

Before  leaving  this  subject,  we  shall  mention  an  inci- 
dent which  illustrates  Mother  Hardey's  delicacy  of  feeling. 
Mgr.  de  la  Bastida,  realizing  the  heavy  expenses  entailed  by 
the  erection  of  new  buildings  at  Manhattanville,  wished  to 
pay  his  board  and  that  of  his  secretary,  but  Mother  Hardey 

205 


MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

refused  to  receive  any  remuneration.  Finding,  however, 
that  a  package  of  gold  coins,  carefully  sealed,  was  sent  to 
her  every  month,  she  ceased  to  allude  to  the  subject,  and 
his  Lordship  believed  he  had  succeeded  in  overcoming  her 
objections.  When  the  bishop  left  for  Europe  Mother  Har- 
dey  confided  to  his  secretary  a  small  box,  saying  it  con- 
tained a  few  articles  for  the  use  of  his  Lordship,  and  re- 
questing that  it  should  be  opened  only  after  the  vessel  had 
sailed  from  port.  The  injunction  was  obeyed,  and  on  their 
arrival  in  London  the  box  was  opened.  Underneath  some 
toilet  articles  were  found  the  packages  of  gold  coins,  each 
one  bearing  its  seal  yet  unbroken.  The  bishop's  letter  of 
thanks  was  the  outpouring  of  a  heart  deeply  touched  by  this 
last  proof  of  Mother  Hardey's  generosity,  and  in  writing  to 
one  of  his  friends  in  New  York,  he  said :  "  I  consider  Mother 
Hardey  the  Saint  Teresa  of  this  century." 

The  trials  of  the  Holy  Father  in  1859  developed  among 
the  pupils  of  Manhattanville  a  very  tender  attachment  to 
the  Holy  See.  Prayers  for  the  triumph  of  the  Church  and 
the  Vicar  of  Jesus  Christ  were  publicly  offered,  and  the 
enthusiasm  of  the  children  knew  no  bounds  when  there 
was  question  of  helping  the  good  cause  with  their  alms  or 
their  good  works.  One  of  the  little  girls  wrote  to  Mgr.  de  la 
Bastida,  after  he  had  left  for  Rome :  "  Poor  Holy  Father ! 
How  he  must  suffer!  Will  your  Lordship  please  tell  him 
that,  if  he  has  to  leave  Rome,  he  shall  be  joyfully  welcomed 
at  Manhattanville.  His  little  children  of  the  Sacred  Heart 
are  now  offering  ever  so  many  acts  of  silence  and  self-denial, 
that  he  may  triumph  over  his  enemies."  It  afforded  the 
bishop  great  pleasure  to  transmit  this  artless  message  to 
Pius  IX,  and  the  tender  heart  of  the  Pontiff  was  so  deeply 
touched  by  the  simple  expression  of  childish  loyalty  that  he 
sent  a  special  benediction  across  the  seas  to  strengthen  the 
little  flock  in  the  love  of  the  Church  and  its  Chief  Pastor. 

In  the  month  of  June  of  that  same  year  Archbishop 
Hughes  announced  that  a  collection  for  the  Holy  Father 

206 


MANHATTANVILLE  PUPILS 

would  be  taken  up  in  all  the  churches  of  the  diocese,  and 
that  he  wished  even  the  school  children  to  contribute  their 
share.  The  request  found  a  generous  response  at  Manhattan- 
ville.  The  sum  of  three  thousand  dollars  was  collected  and 
presented  to  the  Archbishop  in  an  artificial  rose,  at  the  clos- 
ing exercises  of  the  scholastic  year.  His  Grace  expressed  his 
deep  appreciation  of  the  gift  of  the  "  Golden  Rose,"  promis- 
ing to  assure  the  Holy  Father  that  there  were  none  more 
loyal  and  devoted  to  him  than  the  children  of  the  Sacred 
Heart.  The  knowledge  that  the  Holy  Father  was  aware 
of  that  loyalty  was  communicated  to  Mother  Hardey  in  a 
letter  of  one  of  her  old  pupils,  written  just  at  that  time : 
"  MY  DEAR  MADAME  : 

"  Had  you  been  able  to  foresee  the  consolations  I  was  to 
enjoy  in  Rome,  you  would  certainly  not  have  tried  to  dis- 
suade me  from  taking  the  journey.  I  can  say  for  once  that 
I  am  glad  I  did  not  follow  your  counsels.  I  could  not  make 
up  my  mind  to  tell  you  of  the  project  which  I  had  formed 
in  making  this  visit  to  Rome  with  my  two  dear  children, 
namely,  that  of  having  them  receive  their  First  Communion 
from  the  hands  of  the  Holy  Father.  I  confided  my  secret 
to  no  one  save  our  Blessed  Mother  and  good  Saint  Joseph. 
Mary  and  Josephine  are  their  children  rather  than  mine,  and 
you  shall  hear  how  my  hopes  were  realized.  When  I  arrived 
in  Rome,  I  asked  whether  the  Holy  Father  was  likely  to  say 
Mass  in  any  of  the  churches  where  ladies  might  be  per- 
mitted to  receive  Holy  Communion.  I  was  told  that  in  a 
few  days  His  Holiness  would  celebrate  in  the  church  of 
Saint  Agnes.  I  was  presented  to  Cardinal  Reisach,  to  whom 
I  made  known  my  desire.  He  assured  me  there  would  be 
no  difficulty  in  regard  to  its  execution,  and  promised  to 
arrange  the  matter  for  me.  He  took  our  names  and  told 
me  what  was  to  be  done  to  prepare  the  children  for  the 
grand  ceremony.  1  mentioned  my  fears  in  regard  to 
Josephine's  age,  which,  as  you  know,  is  only  eight  years. 
After  examining  her  well,  he  relieved  my  anxiety  on  that 

207 


MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

point.  I  then  went  to  the  Convent  of  the  Sacred  Heart, 
where  I  had  already  been  received  with  much  goodness  by 
our  dear  Mothers.  Madame  de  Fonsbelle  offered  to  give  my 
children  a  little  retreat,  for  I  was  uneasy  lest  they  should 
not  be  sufficiently  prepared,  and  yet  in  my  heart  I  felt  that 
they  would  never  be  purer  or  better  disposed.  Their  desire 
to  be  united  to  Our  Lord  was  so  ardent,  I  was,  as  it  were, 
carried  away  almost  against  my  will.  You  would  not  have 
blamed  me  if  you  had  seen  them. 

"  They  were  so  impressed  with  the  solemnity  of  the 
act  that  their  father  was  moved  to  tears.  I  myself  prepared 
them  for  their  general  confession,  and  let  me  tell  you,  dear 
Mother,  who  love  my  children  as  I  love  them  myself,  the 
great  consolation  of  a  Christian  mother:  that  of  believing 
my  daughters  presented  to  Our  Lord  souls  that  had  never 
been  tarnished  by  a  grave  sin.  The  eve  of  the  great  day 
was  so  stormy  that  it  was  said  the  Holy  Father  could  not 
go  to  St.  Agnes'  church.  Our  prayers  were  redoubled  and 
fine  weather  was  granted.  When  we  arrived  we  found  such 
a  crowd,  besides  the  hundred  students  of  the  Propaganda, 
that  it  seemed  impossible  for  us  to  get  near  the  altar.  My 
children  were  dressed  in  their  First  Communion  robes, 
which  contrasted  strikingly  with  the  black  dresses  that 
etiquette  required  every  one  else  to  wear.  Just  when  we 
thought  it  impossible  to  pierce  through  the  crowd,  Mon- 
seigneur  Bedini  spied  us.  His  Eminence  sent  a  cameriera  to 
give  us  places  close  to  the  altar  facing  the  Holy  Father,  the 
children  in  the  center,  Mr.  F.  and  myself  on  either  side. 
How  can  I  describe  to  you,  my  dear  Madame,  the  senti- 
ments that  filled  my  soul,  when  I  saw  Our  dear  Lord  car- 
ried by  His  Vicar  upon  earth,  descending  into  the  hearts 
of  my  dear  children,  and  then  coming  to  my  husband  and  to 
me !  I  no  longer  saw  anything,  nor  was  I  conscious  where 
I  was!  After  Mass  the  Holy  Father  assisted  at  a  second 
Mass,  as  did  all  present.  When  the  Holy  Sacrifice  was 
ended,  his  Holiness  and  the  Cardinals  withdrew.  We  also 

208 


MANHATTANVILLE  PUPILS 

prepared  to  leave,  when  Bishop  Bacon,  of  Portland,  came  to 
tell  us  that  the  Pope  asked  to  see  the  children.  I  gave  them 
to  His  Lordship  almost  unwillingly.  Taking  a  hand  of 
each,  he  told  us  that  we  also  were  invited. 

"  We  were  conducted  to  a  room  where  the  Holy  Father 
was  seated  at  table.  On  seeing  u&  enter,  he  exclaimed,  '  Ah ! 
here  comes  the  Bishop  of  Portland  with  his  two  American 
angels.'  The  sight  of  the  venerable  Pontiff  made  me  melt 
into  tears.  I  could  see  nothing  for  some  moments,  but  when 
I  was  able  to  distinguish  objects  around  me,  what  a  sight 
met  my  eyes !  My  two  children  were  seated  on  either  side 
of  His  Holiness,  who  waited  upon  them,  making  them  eat 
cake,  fruit  and  bonbons.  I  am  far  from  thinking  my  chil- 
dren pretty,  though  a  mother  always  finds  beauty  in  her 
offspring,  but  I  assure  you  that  at  that  moment  they  ap- 
peared really  lovely  in  their  white  dresses,  so  fresh  and 
simple.  They  looked  like  the  protecting  angels  of  Pius  IX. 
May  they  be  so  in  reality  and  ward  off  from  that  blessed 
head  all  the  evils  which  these  unhappy  days  threaten! 
Those  present  were  so  impressed  by  the  spectacle  that  they 
asked  for  a  photographer  to  reproduce  the  scene. 

"  My  turn  was  to  come.  The  Holy  Father  inquired, 
'  Where  is  la  Madre? '  I  threw  myself  on  my  knees  before 
him.  He  asked  where  I  had  been  educated,  as  also  my  chil- 
dren. The  name  of  the  Sacred  Heart  caused  him  to  smile, 
and  then  he  spoke  of  the  good  done  in  your  schools.  He 
placed  his  hands  upon  the  heads  of  my  children,  repeating, 
Oh !  the  children  and  grandchildren  of  the  Sacred  Heart 
are  true  children  of  the  Church.'  I  profited  of  this  mo- 
ment to  obtain  the  blessing  of  His  Holiness  on  all  who 
are  dearest  to  me  in  this  world,  our  venerated  Mother 
General,  all  our  Mothers  of  the  Sacred  Heart,  and  you 
especially,  dear  Madame.  Mr.  F.  also  prostrated  himself 
at  the  feet  of  the  Pope  and  received  his  share  of  encour- 
agement and  compliments.  Oh !  what  a  beautiful  day ! 
Can  I  ever  forget  it !  In  the  afternoon  we  had  an  audi- 

14  209 


MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

ence  with  the  Holy  Father,  who  asked  for  the  Americans. 

"  Bishop  Bacon  presented  their  gifts  by  the  hands  of  my 
two  little  angels,  who  stood  on  either  side  of  his  Lordship 
while  he  read  the  address.  When  they  presented  the  offer- 
ings in  the  name  of  their  countrymen,  His  Holiness  replied 
in  the  most  touching  manner,  saying  that  his  late  crosses 
had  been  mingled  with  so  many  consolations  he  could  hard- 
ly say  which  of  the  two  had  been  most  numerous.  Ad- 
dressing my  dear  children,  His  Holiness  told  them  never  to 
forget  this  day,  to  preserve  the  whiteness  of  their  souls 
which  had  been  washed  in  the  blood  of  the  Lamb,  for,  he 
added,  '  You  are  the  sheep  whom  I  have  fed  with  Bread 
from  Heaven,  and  even  with  material  bread.' 

"  I  am  sure  you  are  astonished,  dear  Madame,  by  all 
these  graces  granted  to  your  poor  Lizzie.  I  ask  myself, 
what  have  I  done  for  God,  that  he  should  thus  favor  me? 
I  owe  it  all  to  the  Sacred  Heart,  and  to  my  good  friend, 
St.  Joseph,  whom  I  love  so  much.  Yesterday  we  gave  a  re- 
ception to  Monseigneur  Bedini  and  Cardinal  Antonelli.  The 
former  is  kindness  itself.  He  presented  us  with  a  magnifi- 
cent rosary  from  the  Holy  Father,  who  has  promised  to 
give  us  a  private  audience  on  Monday  next.  In  the  after- 
noon I  went  with  my  children  to  the  Sacred  Heart.  We 
knelt  before  the  painting  of  Mater  Admirabilis  to  thank  our 
heavenly  Mother  for  the  graces  of  the  day.  There  another 
family  feast  awaited  us.  Madame  de  Fonsbelle  and  the 
Mother  Superior  conducted  us  to  the  chapel,  where  every- 
thing was  prepared  for  the  renewal  of  the  Baptismal  Vows 
and  the  Consecration  to  the  Blessed  Virgin ;  the  little  cere- 
mony closed  with  a  canticle  and  the  Magnificat.  Thus,  you 
see,  dear  Madame,  it  is  the  Sacred  Heart  which  begins  and 
ends  for  us  all  joys  and  all  feasts." 

This  interesting  and  consoling  letter  was  so  much  appre- 
ciated by  Mother  Hardey,  that  she  forwarded  it  to  Mother 
Barat,  who  was  equally  pleased  with  its  spirit  of  loyalty 
and  affection  for  the  Society  and  the  Holy  See.  She  ordered 

2IO 


MANHATTANVILLE  PUPILS 

copies  to  be  sent  to  all  the  convents,  that  the  pupils  might 
derive  benefit  from  the  example  set  before  them  of  a  model 
Christian  mother  and  true  child  of  the  Sacred  Heart. 

The  year  1859  was  marked  by  a  consolation  of  another 
kind.  Through  the  instrumentality  of  the  Very  Rev.  J.  J. 
Conroy,  Vicar  General  of  the  Albany  diocese,  she  obtained 
possession  of  a  magnificent  estate,  the  property  of  Mr. 
Joel  Rathbone,  overlooking  the  little  village  of  Kenwood. 
The  situation  commands  an  extended  view  of  the  Hudson 
River,  and  of  the  hills  and  meadows  lying  along  its  banks 
on  one  side,  while  on  the  other  the  eye  beholds  the  blue 
outline  of  the  Heidelberg  Mountains.  On  the  estate  itself 
a  long  picturesque  drive,  between  hills  crowned  with  ma- 
jestic trees,  wound  from  the  porter's  lodge  to  the  mansion, 
while  thickly  wooded  hills,  the  gardens,  orchards,  meadows, 
fields  and  groves  afforded  that  pleasing  variety  so  desirable 
for  students  within  a  convent  enclosure.  The  dwelling, 
which  was  pulled  down  later  to  make  room  for  the  grand 
conventual  buildings,  was  unique  in  style.  Antique  carv- 
ings and  stained  glass  windows  lent  to  some  of  the  apart- 
ments an  aspect  which  was  almost  monastic.  These  were 
made  to  serve  for  chapel  and  parlors,  while  the  bright 
sunlit  rooms  were  converted  into  study  and  recreation 
halls.  The  religious  were  enraptured  with  the  beauty  of 
their  surroundings,  which  formed  a  striking  contrast  with 
the  modest  little  country  house  which  they  had  been  occu- 
pying on  the  Troy  Road.  The  pupils  were  enthusiastic  in 
their  admiration  of  the  house  and  grounds.  Never  were 
children  more  devoted  to  their  Alma  Mater  than  the  happy 
band  of  Kenwood's  first  pupils,  who  made  the  woods  and 
groves  resound  with  their  songs  of  joy,  and  in  the  evening 
twilight,  from  the  beautiful  terrace,  the  sweet  strains  of 
the  "  Ave  Sanctissima  "  floated  over  the  hills  and  mead- 
ows and  down  the  beautiful  river. 

Mother  Hardey  was  justly  proud  of  this  new  conquest 
of  the  Sacred  Heart.  She  sent  there  those  of  her  daughters 

211 


MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

whose  health  required  rest  or  change  of  air,  and,  from  the 
very  beginning,  she  took  special  interest  in  the  prosperity 
of  Kenwood,  which  later,  was  to  owe  its  great  development 
to  her.  But  her  deepest  solicitude  was  the  advancement  of 
her  daughters  in  the  spiritual  life,  and  notwithstanding  her 
multiplied  labors,  she  found  time  to  write  letters  of  counsel 
and  encouragement  to  them,  such  as  the  following: 

"  MY  DEAR  CHILD: 

"  Mr.  Patrick  is  in  the  parlor  waiting  for  letters  and 
messages  before  leaving  for  Albany.  I  am  very  busy  just 
now,  but  I  could  not  let  him  leave  without  a  line  for  my 
oldest,  and,  I  wish  I  could  say,  my  best  daughter.  But  you 
will  try  to  become  the  best,  will  you  not,  during  my  ab- 
sence, that  God  may  bless  me  and  my  mission.  First  of 
all,  I  beg  you  to  be  faithful  to  your  exercises  of  piety.  Our 
holy  Rule  tells  us  that  we  should  love  meditation.  Strive, 
therefore,  with  all  your  energy  to  become  an  interior  soul. 
You  have  the  necessary  dispositions,  and,  believe  me,  your 
present  difficulties  come  from  neglecting  to  develop  them. 
Promise  me  that  you  will  go  direct  to  Our  Lord  when  you 
want  to  speak  to  me.  I  have  given  Him  all  my  messages 
for  you.  If  you  have  recourse  to  His  Sacred  Heart  you 
will  overcome  your  sadness,  for  this  feeling  comes  from  your 
ardent  desire  to  be  united  to  Him.  No  need  of  asking  me 
to  pray  for  you.  I  never  fail  to  do  so.  Your  happiness  is 
as  dear  to  me  as  my  own." 

And  in  another  letter  to  the  same  religious  she  writes: 
"  Blessed  are  the  clean  of  heart,  for  they  shall  see  God. 
Yes,  even  in  this  world,  for  Our  Lord  dwells  in  hearts  that 
are  watching  and  praying.  Our  difficulties  come  from  our 
too  great  eagerness  for  the  things  of  this  world,  and  our 
desire  to  see  and  hear  all  that  is  going  on.  Our  divine 
Spouse  is  jealous  of  our  affections,  and  He  cannot  tolerate 
in  our  hearts  anything  that  does  not  belong  to  Him." 

It  was  thus  that  Mother  Hardey  sought  to  form  souls  to 

212 


MANHATTANVILLE  PUPILS 

solid  religious  virtues  without  interfering  with  the  action 
of  divine  grace.  To  one  who  had  caused  her  great  sorrow 
by  a  serious  fault,  for  which  she  came  to  beg  her  pardon, 
she  simply  answered :  "  I  knew  that  you  had  not  the  light 
to  see  your  mistake,"  and  not  another  word  of  reproach 
passed  her  lips.  So  much  calmness  and  peace  in  her  ex- 
terior deportment  could  only  be  the  fruit  of  long  and  perse- 
vering struggle  in  a  character  like  hers.  When  necessary 
she  knew  how  to  reprimand  severely,  but  her  voice  was 
never  raised  above  its  natural  tone,  her  countenance  never 
altered,  and  never  did  an  unmeasured  word  escape  her  lips. 
As  one  of  her  daughters  said,  "  She  concealed  a  hand  of 
iron  in  a  velvet  glove,  but  her  strength  was  so  well  tem- 
pered with  meekness  that  we  never  experienced  the  salu- 
tary effects  of  the  one  without  feeling  the  consolation  of  the 
other." 

In  the  beginning  of  the  year  1859,  a  rumor  was  circu- 
lated that  Mother  Hardey  was  to  be  removed  from  Manhat- 
tanville.  It  probably  originated  from  the  fact  that  she  had 
offered  herself  to  the  Mother  General  in  answer  to  an  ap- 
peal for  subjects  for  the  South  American  missions.  Her 
confidential  friend,  Mother  Trincano,  became  alarmed  lest 
the  offer  might  be  accepted,  and  she  communicated  her  ap- 
prehensions to  Archbishop  Hughes.  His  Grace  entered 
fully  into  her  sentiments,  and,  in  order  to  avert  such  a  loss 
to  his  diocese,  he  addressed  the  following  lines  to  Mother 
Barat : 

"  REVEREND  AND  DEAR  MOTHER  BARAT  : 

"  I  heard  yesterday,  from  Mother  Trincano,  and  with 
very  deep  regret,  that  Madame  Hardey  is  likely  to  be  re- 
moved in  the  spring  from  Manhattanville.  After  eighteen 
years,  since  the  first  community  of  the  Sacred  Heart  was 
established  in  my  diocese,  I  can  say,  that  I  have  never  in- 
terfered with  its  internal  regulations,  and  have  been  entirely 
content  in  knowing  that  the  community  has  lived  strictly 

213 


MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

according  to  its  rules,  which  are  always  the  best  safeguard 
for  fervent  religious  ladies.  But,  under  the  present  circum- 
stances, I  am  compelled  by  zeal,  not  only  for  the  interests 
of  the  Ladies  of  the  Sacred  Heart  in  this  city,  but  through- 
out the  United  States,  to  present  to  you,  with  sincere  re- 
spect, the  reasons  why,  in  my  opinion,  Mother  Hardey 
should  be  left  where  she  is: 

"  i.  The  flourishing  community  of  Manhattanville  has 
grown  up  and  persevered  in  strictest  religious  fervor  under 
her  wise,  constant  and  judicious  direction  as  Superior. 

"  2.  From  the  same  establishment  many  branches  have 
been  taken  and  planted  in  Albany,  Rochester,  Philadelphia, 
Detroit,  Montreal  and  even  Halifax.  The  Superiors  of  these 
houses  have  for  the  most  part  received  their  training  at 
Manhattanville,  and  the  regularity  and  order  of  that  house 
they  have  everywhere  endeavored  to  imitate.  Madame  Har- 
dey has  been  their  model.  In  cases  of  difficulty  they  have  had 
recourse  to  her  wise  and  prudent  counsel,  nor  do  I  think 
these  institutions  are  yet  sufficiently  established,  or  their 
Superiors  so  confirmed  in  the  whole  knowledge  and  spirit 
of  their  state,  especially  as  Superiors,  as  to  be  able  to  dis- 
pense with  the  great  advantage  of  sometimes  returning  to 
the  Mother  House  at  Manhattanville,  and  at  all  times  of 
consulting  by  letter  the  wise  and  excellent  Mother  Superior, 
under  whom  they  have  been  trained,  and  in  whom  they  have 
such  unbounded  and  well  merited  confidence. 

"  3.  The  removal  of  Mother  Hardey  at  this  time  would 
be  a  very  great  shock  to  the  Catholics ;  indeed,  I  might  add 
also,  to  the  Protestants  of  New  York.  The  respect  and 
veneration  which  both  Catholics  and  Protestants  entertain 
for  Madame  Hardey  are  such  that  they  would  regard  it  as 
a  public  calamity.  I  fear  also  that  it  would  diminish  to 
some  extent  the  confidence  of  the  public  in  the  Society  of 
the  Sacred  Heart. 

"4.  I  would  call  your  attention  to  the  convent  itself. 
There  everything  is  organized  and  going  on  in  the  simplic- 

214 


MANHATTANVILLE  PUPILS 

ity  of  fervent  religious  life,  just  the  same  as  it  has  done  for 
the  last  eighteen  years.  But  what  I  think  deeply  deserv- 
ing of  your  consideration  is,  that  the  number  of  young 
ladies  who  have  been  educated  at  the  Sacred  Heart  is  very 
great  indeed.  Many  of  them  have  returned  home,  sending 
back  younger  sisters,  and,  in  not  a  few  instances,  their  own 
daughters.  The  tie  that  binds  all  these,  scattered  as  they 
are  all  over  the  country,  to  Manhattanville  is  Madame  Har- 
dey.  To  them  it  will  not  be  the  same  institution  if  she  is 
removed.  No  doubt,  another  Superior,  perhaps  equally 
capable  might  be  appointed,  but  she  will  be  as  a  stranger. 
If  Madame  Hardey  were  removed  by  death  it  would  not,  in 
my  opinion,  injure  the  school,  but  to  send  her  to  some  other 
place,  where  she  cannot  do  more  good,  will  be  looked  upon 
as  if  her  Superiors  did  not  value  the  friendship  and  patron- 
age of  the  Catholic  community,  or  of  the  pupils  that  have 
been  educated  in  the  institution. 

"  5.  The  school  is  exceedingly  flourishing.  The  number 
of  boarders  is  at  this  moment,  I  believe,  two  hundred  and 
six,  of  these  about  thirty-five  are  Protestants.  Now,  of  the 
Protestants  in  the  school  last  year,  fifteen  became  Catho- 
lics and  were  baptized  with  the  full  consent  of  their  parents. 
And  why  did  they  give  their  consent?  Because  of  their 
confidence  in  Madame  Hardey.  These  parents  knew  but 
little  of  the  Catholic  religion,  but  they  all  believed  that 
whatever  Madame  Hardey  would  recommend  for  their  chil- 
dren must  be  necessarily  good.  Let  a  new  Superior  be  put 
in  her  place,  and  probably  some  of  these  would  withdraw 
their  children.  Even  Catholics  would  not  feel  the  same 
security  which  they  do  now,  for  they  have  no  anxiety  as 
long  as  their  daughters  are  under  the  protection  and  wise 
guidance  of  one  who  is  so  well  known  as  the  present  Su- 
perior of  Manhattanville  convent. 

"  Reverend  dear  Mother,  in  my  position  as  Archbishop 
of  New  York,  I  have  deemed  it  but  discharging  the  duty 
of  conscience  both  as  regards  my  own  flock  and  as  regards 

215 


MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

your  excellent  community,  to  write  to  you  as  I  have  done. 
God  forbid  that  either  on  this  side  of  the  ocean,  or  on  the 
other,  I  should  interfere  or  disturb  the  constitutions,  rules 
and  discipline  of  any  religious  society,  and  I  pray  you  to 
understand  that  in  case  it  should  be  necessary  to  remove 
Mother  Hardey  I  shall  regret  it  exceedingly  for  the  reasons 
I  have  mentioned,  but  I  shall  submit  to  it  without  a  mur- 
mur, as  an  evidence  of  the  will  of  God  in  her  regard.  I 
beg  of  you,  however,  to  reflect  on  what  I  have  written,  and 
I  would  beg  further  that  if  the  rules  require  that  Madame 
Hardey,  after  so  long  a  service,  be  changed  to  another  post, 
you  would  either  by  your  own  authority,  or  by  authority 
obtained  from  the  proper  source,  direct  her,  under  dispen- 
sation, as  an  act  of  obedience,  to  remain  where  she  is.  The 
community  of  the  Sacred  Heart  has  grown  most  rapidly  in 
the  high  estimation  of  the  people  of  this  country.  But,  after 
all,  it  is  still  young,  and  it  would  be  well  to  let  its  roots  sink 
deeper  and  become  stronger  in  the  American  soil,  before  it 
shall  be  tried  by  such  a  test  as  the  removal  of  Madame 
Hardey,  at  this  moment,  would  expose  it  to. 
"  I  have  the  honor  to  remain, 

"  Your  obedient  servant  in  Xt., 

"JOHN  HUGHES, 
"  Abp.  of  New  York." 

We  have  been  fortunately  able  to  secure  the  following 
reply  of  Mother  Barat,  which  is  still  preserved  in  the 
archives  of  the  cathedral  in  New  York : 

"  MONSEIGNEUR: 

"  I  have  received  the  letter  which  your  Grace  did  me 
the  honor  of  writing,  and  I  thank  you  sincerely  for  the  kind 
interest  manifested  towards  our  Society,  and  especially  to- 
wards those  of  our  establishments  confided  to  your  pastoral 
care. 

"  It  is  impossible  for  me  to  understand  how  you  could 

216 


Mother  House  at  Paris 


MANHATTANVILLE  PUPILS 

have  been  informed  of  a  project  which  I  have  not  enter- 
tained, and  of  which,  consequently,  I  have  not  spoken  to 
any  one.  Your  Grace  may  have  been  told  that  Mother  Har- 
dey  would  be  called  to  France  for  our  General  Council, 
which  probably  will  be  assembled  in  the  Spring  of  next 
year,  for  I  cannot  foresee  being  able  to  convoke  it  at  an 
earlier  period.  This  will  not  be  the  first  time  that  she  will 
repair  hither,  and  her  visit  does  not  indicate  that  she  will 
be  changed  from  the  post  which  she  occupies  at  present.  It 
is  true,  that  she  has  greatly  exceeded  the  time  which  our 
Constitutions  have  fixed  for  the  exercise  of  authority  in  the 
same  place,  and  it  is  possible  that  this  fact  has  given  rise  to 
the  conjecture  in  regard  to  her  removal.  But  there  is  no 
rule  without  an  exception,  and  it  is  understood  that  a 
thousand  motives  authorize  this  one,  on  account  of  the 
peculiar  position  in  which  our  houses  in  America  are  placed. 
I  know  well  the  capabilities  and  devotedness,  as  well  as 
the  virtues  of  our  good  Mother  Hardey.  No  one  can  appre- 
ciate them  more  than  myself,  and  it  is  a  consolation  for  me 
to  see  that  your  Grace  entertains  a  similar  opinion  of  her 
worth.  I  beg  you  therefore  to  believe  that  your  letter  and  the 
reasons  which  are  therein  exposed,  have  been  fully  under- 
stood, and  will  be  taken  into  consideration ;  and  that,  more- 
over, if  I  were  obliged  to  decide  upon  a  measure  of  such 
importance  I  would  be  the  first  to  inform  your  Grace  of 
the  reasons  which  demanded  such  a  measure,  as  I  am  in 
duty  bound. 

"  Permit  me,  Monseigneur,  in  expressing  my  lively  grat- 
itude for  the  powerful  concurrence  and  protection  which 
our  Society  has  always  found  in  you,  to  solicit  the  continua- 
tion of  your  favor,  and  deign  to  accept  the  homage  of  the 
profound  veneration  with  which  I  am, 

"  Your  most  humble  servant  in  C.  J.  M., 

"M.  L.  S.  BARAT, 

"  Sup.  Gen." 
217 


MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

This  answer  fully  satisfied  Archbishop  Hughes  that 
Madame  Hardey  would  not  be  removed  from  Manhattan- 
ville,  nor  was  there  question  of  a  change  of  residence  for 
her  during  his  lifetime.  We  shall  see  later  on  how  this 
obedient  religious  took  the  initiative  herself  in  reconciling 
the  Archbishop's  successor  to  her  transfer  to  Kenwood. 

It  is  natural  to  suppose  that  Mother  Trincano  was  held 
responsible  for  the  alarm  of  the  Archbishop,  and  we  find 
the  following  allusion  to  the  subject  in  one  of  her  letters 
of  that  period  to  Mother  Hardey :  "  I  know,  my  dear 
Mother,  that  I  deserve  a  good  penance  for  my  indiscretion, 
and  I  shall  gladly  perform  it  in  the  hope  that  it  may  render 
me  more  prudent  in  the  future.  Oh !  do  not  fear  to  trust 
your  Therese,  and  I  promise  you  will  never  have  cause  to 
doubt  her  again."  In  another  letter  she  writes :  "  The  4th 
of  April,  the  anniversary  of  your  return  from  Havana,  re- 
called many  sweet  remembrances.  My  Communion  was 
offered  for  you,  and  I  presented  you  anew  to  Him  who  gave 
you  back  to  us  with  such  loving  tenderness,  when  He  was 
about  to  take  you  to  Himself.  I  am  sure  my  sacrifice  of 
being  separated  from  you,  must  be  agreeable  to  our  dearest 
Lord,  since  he  continues  to  prolong  it.  In  moments  of 
trial,  it  is  a  comfort  to  know  that  there  is  something  I  can 
give  Him  in  return  for  the  signal  favor  He  has  granted 
me.  For  the  preservation  of  my  dear  Mother  I  would  will- 
ingly accept  any  sacrifice,  expose  myself  to  any  danger. 
I  hear  that  I  am  blamed  for  my  remark  to  the  Archbishop, 
and  I  fear  you  will  try  to  exonerate  me.  Do  not  seek  to 
justify  me  in  the  eyes  of  our  venerated  Mother  General. 
Such  precious  occasions  of  humiliation  are  rare,  and  I  con- 
sider it  a  great  grace  to  suffer  something  in  so  good  a 
cause." 

We  learn  from  Mother  Trincano's  letters,  which  Mother 
Hardey  preserved  until  her  death,  how  strong  were  the  ties 
of  friendship  uniting  these  two  great  souls,  and  the  mutual 

218 


MANHATTANVILLE  PUPILS 

support  resulting  from  so  close  a  union  in  the  Heart  of 
Jesus. 

The  pecuniary  assistance  which  Mother  Hardey  gave 
during  the  erection  of  the  new  convent  of  "  the  Sault "  is 
made  evident  in  this  correspondence.  She  was  a  visible 
Providence  to  Mother  Trincano,  who,  burdened  with  debt, 
informs  her  dear  Mother  of  her  anxiety  in  one  letter,  and  in 
the  next  gives  expression  to  her  gratitude  in  the  following 
words :  "  It  is  with  tears  in  my  eyes  that  I  write  to  you 
to-day.  They  are  not  tears  of  sadness,  but  of  gratitude  for 
your  goodness  towards  this  little  family.  A  thousand  dol- 
lars !  O  my  dear  Mother,  what  a  help  this  amount  will  be ! 
What  shall  we  do  to  prove  our  appreciation  of  so  much 
goodness,  so  often  bestowed  upon  your  Canadian  family.  I 
know  not  what  to  say;  but  we  shall  apply  to  the  Heart  of 
Jesus  to  pay  our  debt  of  gratitude,  and  from  that  Source 
of  Grace  floods  of  benedictions  will  be  poured  upon  our  be- 
loved Mother,  and  the  many  works  of  zeal  in  which  she  is 
engaged  for  the  glory  of  the  Divine  Master." 

Mother  Hardey's  resources  seemed  to  be  multiplied  in 
proportion  to  the  generosity  with  which  they  were  employed 
in  relieving  the  wants  of  others.  One  of  her  daughters 
writes :  "  My  uncle  and  guardian  handed  me  a  cheque  on 
Christmas  day,  telling  me  to  use  it  as  I  pleased,  as  it  was 
his  Christmas  gift  to  me.  Immediately  on  leaving  the  par- 
lor I  went  to  Reverend  Mother's  room  to  offer  my  gift  to 
her,  for  I  knew  how  many  things  were  needed  at  Manhat- 
tanville.  She  smiled  and  thanked  me  with  her  usual  gra- 
ciousness,  and  I  was  happy  to  know  that  she  was  pleased. 
Next  morning  when  I  went  to  her  room  she  said :  '  I  have 
just  received  a  letter  from  Mother  Eugenie  telling  me  she 
has  no  money  to  pay  her  workmen.  Will  you  not  be  glad 
to  have  me  send  her  your  cheque?  '  When  I  looked  a  little 
disappointed,  she  added :  '  You  see,  three  of  us  will  be  made 
happy  by  your  uncle's  gift.  You  in  having  it  to  give  to  me, 

219 


MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

I  in  being  able  to  give  it  to  Mother  Eugenie,  and  that  dear 
Mother's  Christmas  joy  in  being  able  to  pay  her  men.' " 

In  a  letter  dated  July  12,  1859,  Mother  Barat  expressed 
the  hope  of  seeing  Mother  Hardey  in  Paris  at  an  early  date, 
and  of  showing  her  the  new  mother-house,  which  had  just 
been  completed.  Although  she  makes  allusion  only  to  the 
holding  of  the  General  Council,  her  words  seem  prophetic : 
"  I  hope,  if  nothing  happens,  that  you  will  soon  share  with 
us  this  new  home,  which  is  yours  also.  I  trust  that  before 
going  to  God,  I  shall  have  the  happiness  of  seeing  the  head 
superiors  of  the  Society,  for  now  that  we  have  a  home  of 
our  own,  it  is  a  great  joy  for  your  Mother  to  welcome  in 
turn  those  dear  daughters  who  come  to  seek  from  us  the 
counsel  and  aid  of  which  they  have  need.  I  long  to  see  you 
and  dear  Mother  Jouve  with  us.  Prepare  in  advance  for 
this  visit.  We  have  a  great  deal  to  do  and  the  work  be- 
comes heavier  every  day." 

A  little  later  Mother  Barat  writes  again  to  thank  her  for 
a  gift  which  is  to  this  day  a  souvenir  of  the  beloved  donor : 
"  I  thank  you,  my  dear  daughter,  for  the  beautiful  and  grace- 
ful Holy  Water  font,  with  which  you  have  adorned  our 
chapel.  I  hope  you  will  soon  have  the  consolation  of  visit- 
ing this  Mother  House,  which  is  truly  your  home." 

Under  date  of  May  28,  1860,  Mother  Barat  writes  again : 
"  DEAR  AND  GOOD  DAUGHTER  : 

"  I  have  not  the  heart  to  let  the  present  occasion  pass 
without  sending  you  some  lines  for  my  own  consolation, 
as  also  to  thank  you  for  your  offerings.  I  cannot  express 
how  grateful  I  am,  and  I  shall  ask  the  Heart  of  Jesus  to  ap- 
ply to  you  the  merit  of  the  good  works  to  which  your  gift 
will  be  destined. 

"When  will  it  be  given  me  to  see  you  again?  Alas! 
circumstances  have  retarded  the  holding  of  the  General 
Council,  but,  while  awaiting  the  desired  epoch,  draw  nearer 
than  ever  to  the  Heart  of  our  Good  Master,  for  I  see  you 
have  great  need  of  His  help,  now  especially  when  certain 

220 


MANHATTANVILLE  PUPILS 

subjects  give  you  so  much  anxiety.  Alas!  I  acknowledge 
to  you  that  this  is  also  my  cross  of  crosses !  None  so  pain- 
ful! Yet,  we  superiors  must  be  resigned  to  bear  it.  We 
are  born  to  live  with  creatures  who  are  not  angels,  so  we 
must  be  patient  with  them. 

"  Having  at  present  nothing  worth  offering  you,  I 
thought  you  might  appreciate  this  chaplet  from  Jerusalem. 
The  sister  of  two  of  our  nuns  gathered  the  grains  herself 
in  the  Garden  of  Olives,  where  Jesus  underwent  His  Agony. 
The  beads  have  also  touched  the  most  noted  sanctuaries  of 
the  Holy  Land,  and  I  enclose  the  list  of  Indulgences.  I 
wish  I  could  find  out  what  would  give  you  pleasure. 
You  must  let  me  know  when  we  meet,  a  happiness  which 
I  hope  from  the  goodness  of  the  Divine  Heart,  in  1861." 


221 


CHAPTER  XIX. 

MOTHER  HARDEY'S  VISIT  TO  PARIS — ON  HER  RETURN  SHE 
VISITS  THE  HOUSES  OF  THE  VICARIATE — FOUNDA- 
TION IN  MONTREAL — 1860-1861. 

In  the  Spring  of  1860,  Mother  Trincano  was  deputed  by 
Mother  Hardey  to  make  the  regular  visit  of  the  convent  in 
Halifax.  Although  the  community  were  rejoiced  to  wel- 
come this  good  Mother,  general  disappointment  was  felt 
at  not  seeing  Mother  Hardey,  especially  as  the  rumor  of 
her  approaching  removal  had  traveled  thither,  causing  great 
alarm.  Mother  Peacock,  the  superior,  wrote  a  letter  full 
of  regrets  and  anxious  forebodings,  to  which  Mother  Har- 
dey sent  the  following  reply : 

"Mv  DEAR  MOTHER: 

"  I  have  detained  Mother  Thompson's  letter  much  longer 
than  I  intended,  but  I  could  not  make  up  my  mind  to  let  it 
go  without  scribbling  a  few  lines  to  prove  how  untrue  is 
your  dream.  There  is  no  foundation  for  your  fear  of  my 
removal,  so  far,  I  mean,  as  I  can  tell.  My  reason  for  send- 
ing good  Mother  Trincano  was  the  danger  of  my  leaving 
for  France  without  knowing  the  needs  of  your  house,  as  it 
was  supposed  the  Council  would  take  place  this  Spring. 
Now  you  have  the  explanation. 

"  Your  devoted  bishop  has  probably  given  you  the  Man- 
hattanville  news.  We  were  truly  happy  to  see  him,  and  to 
hear  from  him  that  your  family,  and  you,  especially,  are  in 
good  health,  and  that  yours  is  '  the  best  community  in  the 
country.'  I  was  obliged  to  stop  writing.  Rheumatism  and 
the  cold  have  tried  my  patience,  and  prevented  me  from 
using  hand  or  arm,  but  this  must  be  expected  in  old  age. 
It  is  probable  the  Council  will  be  convened  this  year,  but 
not  until  the  fall.  This  delay  will  doubtless  enable  me  to 

222 


VISIT  TO  PARIS 

see  you  this  Summer,  if  I  am  not  compelled  to  change  my 
plans;  I  mean,  if  I  do  not  receive  other  orders. 

"  Our  Novitiate  is  daily  increasing,  two  pupils  entered 

on  Ash  Wednesday.  I  shall  be  happy  to  see  Mary  C , 

if  she  still  perseveres  in  her  good  intention.  Madame  Phelan 
will  make  her  profession  on  Easter  Monday. 

"  Good-night,  dear  Mother,  pray  for 

"  Yours  devotedly  in  C.  J., 

A.  HARDEY,  R.  S.  C.  J." 

In  the  month  of  June,  Mother  Jouve,  the  Vicar  of  Louis- 
iana, was  called  to  New  York  on  business,  and  while  there 
she  received  a  letter  from  Mother  Barat,  bidding  her  hasten 
to  Paris.  Mother  Hardey's  summons  did  not  arrive,  but 
the  previous  letters  of  Mother  Barat  lead  her  to  believe 
that  she  was  likewise  expected,  so  with  the  advice  of  her 
counsellors  she  prepared  at  once  for  departure.  In  July 
the  two  superiors  sailed,  accompanied  by  the  Countess  of 
Villanova,  a  true  benefactress  of  the  convent  in  Havana. 
This  estimable  lady  had  lost  her  eyesight  completely,  and 
she  was  going  to  Spain  for  the  purpose  of  ending  her  days 
in  one  of  the  convents  of  the  Sacred  Heart,  a  favor  which  she 
counted  upon  receiving  through  the  influence  of  Mother 
Hardey  with  Mother  Barat.  The  favor  was  graciously 
granted. 

Mothers  Hardey  and  Jouve  crossed  the  ocean  with  their 
hearts  filled  with  the  joyful  anticipation  of  laying  down  their 
burden  of  care  and  responsibility  at  the  feet  of  their  "  first 
Mother  "  and  making  known  to  her  their  success  and  fail- 
ures. Mother  Hardey's  happiness  was  for  a  moment  clouded 
on  her  arrival  at  the  mother-house  to  find  that  she  had  not 
been  expected,  but  her  embarrassment  was  of  short  dura- 
tion, as  Mother  Barat  expressed  her  gratitude  to  the  Heart 
of  Jesus  for  having  Himself  arranged  this  long  desired  meet- 
ing. We  learn  from  a  letter  of  the  secretary  of  the  Mother 

223 


MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

General,  received  at  Manhattanville  after  the  travellers  had 
sailed,  the  explanation  of  the  matter : 

"  Rev.  Mother  Jouve  has  written  of  her  arrival  in  New 
York,  and  the  details  have  greatly  interested  our  Very  Rev. 
Mother;  another  letter  reached  us  yesterday,  in  which  she 
says,  she  is  waiting  to  learn  from  you  the  date  of  depar- 
ture. Our  Mother  fears  there  is  some  misunderstanding,  for 
she  would  not  be  at  ease  to  have  both  of  you  absent  just 
now  from  her  dear  America." 

It  was  in  the  designs  of  God  that  Mother  Hardey  should 
not  receive  this  letter,  as  He  intended  her  to  enjoy  a  brief 
respite  from  the  cares  and  anxieties  of  her  life  of  active  zeal 
in  the  peaceful  haven  of  the  mother-house,  where  under 
the  maternal  guidance  of  the  saintly  Foundress  she  laid  up 
a  fresh  stock  of  grace  for  the  period  of  trial  and  suffering 
upon  which  she  was  soon  to  enter.  By  a  happy  dispensa- 
tion of  Providence  we  have  been  able  to  learn  much  of 
Mother  Hardey's  interior  life  through  the  letters  of  her 
saintly  director,  Rev.  Father  Gresselin,  S.  J.  They  were 
written  during  the  course  of  five  or  six  years  preceding  the 
death  of  this  good  Father,  and  were  saved  from  destruction 
by  a  fortunate  circumstance.  We  quote  the  following  extract 
from  a  letter  written  in  reference  to  this  visit  to  Paris: 
"  MADAME  : 

"  Those  enterprises  which  are  destined  to  succeed  al- 
ways begin  with  the  Cross.  St.  Ignatius  augurs  no  good 
from  such  as  had  a  prosperous  beginning.  I  have  been  told 
by  Madame  Boudreau  that  a  letter  has  been  received  since 
your  departure  stating  that  you  are  not  expected  in  Paris. 

"  Well,  if  you  have  not  been  received  with  open  arms 
so  much  the  better!  God  will  be  glorified  by  your  humilia- 
tion, and  when  you  have  acquired  thereby  your  share  of 
merit  you  will  be  able  to  obtain  what  you  have  gone  to  seek 
for  the  welfare  of  others.  Make  your  Mothers  in  France 
realize  the  importance  of  your  Society  in  America,  and  the 
vast  field  of  usefulness  awaiting  it  here,  where,  from  many 

224 


VISIT  TO  PARIS 

points  of  view,  civilization  is  more  advanced  than  in  Europe. 
I  hope  you  will  not  be  so  unfortunate  as  to  meet  with  those 
of  my  compatriots  who  think  you  have  come  from  a  coun- 
try of  savages. 

"  As  your  one  desire  is  to  procure  the  glory  of  the  Sacred 
Hearts  of  Jesus  and  Mary  you  will  surely  experience  the 
effects  of  their  assistance.  In  silence  and  patience  you 
must  draw  all  the  closer  to  God,  because  from  Him  alone 
will  come  the  strength  you  need.  Meditate  for  some  time 
every  day  upon  the  destinies  of  your  Society  in  this  New 
World,  and  when  you  have  understood  the  immense  good 
it  should  accomplish  you  will  see  that  such  gain  cannot  be 
too  dearly  purchased.  If  your  Mother  General  does  not  at 
first  realize  the  importance  of  your  mission,  continue  to 
make  your  representations,  and,  ere  long,  this  admirable 
Mother  will  bless  God  for  having  given  her  in  your  person 
so  powerful  an  aid  in  extending  the  reign  of  Jesus  Christ. 

"  I  could  not  resist  the  desire  of  sending  you  a  few  words 
of  encouragement,  which  I  beg  you  to  communicate  to 
Mother  Jouve,  as  they  apply  equally  to  her.  All  is  going  on 
well  here.  The  English  retreat  is  now  being  given.  I  shall 
commence  the  French  retreat  on  the  i8th  of  August,  to  end 
on  the  Feast  of  the  Immaculate  Heart  of  Mary.  I  beg  your 
good  prayers  for  those  eight  days." 

Mother  Hardey's  sojourn  in  Paris  was  restful  to  both 
mind  and  heart,  and  she  returned  to  resume  her  burden 
somewhat  strengthened  in  health,  and  greatly  refreshed  in 
spirit.  One  of  her  first  acts  of  zeal  on  arriving  in  New  York 
was  to  forward  to  Mother  Goetz,  the  Superior  of  the  Gen- 
eral Novitiate  at  Conflans,  a  sewing  machine,  the  first  of 
its  kind  introduced  into  a  European  convent  of  the  Sacred 
Heart.  She  received  in  acknowledgment  the  following  let- 
ter of  thanks: 

"  CONFLANS,  November  2,  1860. 

"  How  can  I  express  my  thanks,  clear  Reverend  Mother, 
for  your  great  charity.     The  precious  sewing  machine  ar- 
15  225 


MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

rived  safely.  Reverend  Mother  Henriette  tried  it  at  the 
mother-house  and  was  enchanted.  To-day  it  was  installed 
in  the  linen  room  of  Conflans,  where  it  works  marvelously, 
thanks  to  the  good  Sister  you  sent,  who  manages  it  so  ad- 
mirably. Accept,  dear  Rev.  Mother,  a  thousand  thanks 
from  myself  and  all  the  novices.  This  saving  of  time  and 
labor  will  secure  to  us  more  leisure  to  pray  to  our  dear 
Lord  that  He  may  bless  you  and  the  works  in  which  you 
are  engaged,  and  this  debt  of  gratitude  we  shall  discharge 
with  all  our  hearts. 

"  Your  humble  little  sister  in  C.  J., 

"JOSEPHINE  GOETZ,  R.  S.  C.  J." 

As  soon  as  the  scholastic  year  was  well  started  at  Man- 
hattanville,  Mother  Hardey  began  the  visitation  of  all  the 
houses  in  her  vicariate,  starting  new  works  of  zeal,  or 
giving  fresh  impetus  to  those  already  in  operation.  Once 
again  at  Manhattanville,  she  began  an  extension  of  the  con- 
vent buildings,  and  devoted  herself  with  increased  vigor  to 
the  welfare  of  the  school  and  the  spiritual  advancement  of 
her  daughters.  In  this  last  work  she  was  greatly  assisted 
by  her  holy  and  enlightened  director,  at  that  time  confessor 
of  the  community.  While  suggesting  precepts  for  the 
guidance  of  her  religious,  Father  Gresselin  sought  to  form 
in  the  superior,  herself,  a  model,  whose  bearing  might  at 
every  moment  say :  "  Behold,  I  have  given  you  an  ex- 
ample !  "  We  read  in  one  of  his  letters : 

"  You  have  a  great  mission  of  charity  to  accomplish ; 
you  must,  therefore,  become  a  living  image  of  the  meekness 
and  suavity  of  the  Heart  of  Jesus.  Let  the  exercise  of  this 
virtue  be  a  part  of  your  cross.  I  mean  that  charity  which 
consists  in  spending  oneself  and  in  being  spent  for  the 
welfare  of  others.  To  make  yourself  'all  to  all,'  thereby  to 
gain  all  to  Jesus  Christ  is  not  according  to  the  inclinations 
of  nature." 

.These  general  counsels  are  mingled  with  special  recom- 

226 


VISIT  TO  PARIS 

mendations  for  the  exercise  of  charity.  "  I  enjoin  upon 
you,"  he  writes,  "  not  to  forget  your  invalids,  particularly 
on  holidays,  when  the  community  and  pupils  are  enjoying 
themselves.  Speak  to  them  on  such  occasions  of  the  happi- 
ness awaiting  them,  of  the  vision  of  Jesus  and  Mary.  Make 
them  realize  how  precious  are  the  closing  days  of  life.  Sug- 
gest to  them  heroic  acts  of  charity.  Dilate  their  hearts, 
encouraging  them  to  gain  higher  degrees  of  merit  by 
frequently  renewing  the  sacrifice  of  their  lives  and  by  ador- 
ing the  will  of  God,  who  is  about  to  call  them  to  Himself. 
They  should  each  day  unite  themselves  more  intimately  to 
Jesus  and  Mary,  in  order  to  love  them  more  perfectly 
throughout  all  eternity.  Oh !  how  terrible  an  evil  it  is  to 
lose  one  degree  of  that  love." 

We  find  an  indication  in  these  letters  that  Mother  Har- 
dey  sometimes  reproached  herself  for  the  faults  of  others. 
Hence  in  answer  to  one  of  these  touching  evidences  of 
humility,  her  director  says :  "  Do  not  attribute  to  yourself 
the  imperfections  which  may  still  be  found  in  some  of  your 
daughters.  You  condemn  yourself  too  much,  though  it  is 
possible  if  you  had  possessed  a  more  effusive  spirit  of  char- 
ity some  faults  might  have  been  prevented.  The  practice 
of  that  charity  is  difficult,  it  is  true,  but  if  it  were  not  diffi- 
cult, where  would  be  the  Cross?" 

The  wise  director  sometimes  saw  fit  to  mingle  humilia- 
tions with  his  strengthening  counsels.  "  I  find,"  he  writes, 
"  it  natural  for  you  to  take  a  haughty  air,  of  which  you  are 
wholly  unconscious.  You  have  a  certain  coldness  of  manner 
which  keeps  strangers  at  a  distance.  This  you  have  partly 
corrected,  but  it  is  yet  noticeable,  and  on  certain  occasions 
you  would  have  been  able  to  do  more  good  if  you  had  been 
more  condescending. 

"  We  must  often  take  the  initiative  in  seeking  to  gain 
hearts,  and  place  ourselves  on  their  level.  However,  a  cer- 
tain reserve  is  sometimes  advantageous,  for  it  inspires  a 
salutary  respect.  The  other  extreme  of  being  too  affable 

227 


MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

and  familiar  would  perhaps  be  even  more  injurious.  I 
would  like  you  to  show  the  charity  of  Jesus,  while  preserv- 
ing the  nobility  of  His  intercourse  with  others." 

Writing  at  the  period  when  Mother  Hardey  had  com- 
pleted the  fiftieth  year  of  her  age,  Father  Gresselin  places 
before  her  the  Cross,  and  the  burning  words  of  the  great 
Apostle  of  the  Gentiles.  "  The  moment  has  come  for  you 
to  enter  into  the  third  and  last  period  of  your  life,"  he  says. 
"  The  period  not  so  much  of  progress  as  of  perfection.  You 
must  die  to  all  that  you  may  live  only  in  Jesus  Christ.  Re- 
flect seriously  upon  these  words  of  St.  Paul :  '  I  die  daily ! ' 
Try  to  fathom  their  meaning,  for  they  signify  death  to  all 
desires,  all  fears,  all  affections  merely  natural.  There  is 
no  time  for  you  to  lose.  Perhaps  the  number  of  your  days 
is  limited.  Make  then  to  your  spouse,  Jesus,  the  sacrifice 
of  all  to  which  your  heart  clings — life,  your  community, 
your  Order!  He  is  the  Father  of  your  family,  the  Protec- 
tor of  your  Society;  do  not  hesitate  to  make  to  Him  the 
sacrifice  He  demands  of  you,  and  in  return  He  will  give  you 
what  He  holds  most  precious,  His  Cross  and  His  Blessed 
Mother." 

These  words  seem  to  have  been  a  preparation  for  the 
sacrifice  which  Mother  Hardey  was  one  day  to  make  of  her 
Vicariate  and  of  her  native  land.  We  find  in  another  letter 
words  of  encouragement :  "  The  past  is  irreparable  only 
after  death.  As  long  as  we  live  on  earth  the  grace  of  God 
is  ours  without  measure,  enabling  us  to  repair  lost  oppor- 
tunities, and  to  obtain  anew  the  merits  which  we  had  for- 
feited by  failing  to  co-operate  with  the  inspirations  of  grace. 
You  are  a  Mother  in  your  community,  have  then  all  the 
solicitude  and  tenderness  of  a  mother  who  divines  when 
there  is  a  slight  illness,  or  heaviness  of  heart  in  her  child. 
You  have  remarkable  penetration  on  that  score.  Remem- 
ber the  resolution  you  took  when  that  Spanish  novice  had 
not  the  courage  to  ask  for  what  she  needed.  Her  impru- 
dence cost  her  her  life,  or,  at  least,  shortened  her  days. 

228 


VISIT  TO  PARIS 

"  Perhaps  it  was  better  for  her  to  fly  then  to  the  bosom 
of  God,  but  this  does  not  regard  us.  It  is  our  duty  to 
delay  such  departures  as  much  as  possible.  Be  particularly 
solicitous  for  those  who  have  lately  come  from  the  world. 
Protect  especially  those  who  do  not  shine  as  much  as  the 
others.  Sometimes  these  quiet  persons  have  their  hearts 
all  the  more  full,  because  they  speak  less.  Beware  of  for- 
getting that  the  Heart  of  Jesus  preserved  you  in  Cuba,  in 
order  that  you  might  make  Him  known  and  loved  more  than 
you  had  ever  done  before. 

"  If  there  had  been  negligence  in  the  past,  He  gives 
you  powerful  means  for  reaching  this  end.  He  has  given 
you  remarkable  influence  over  the  religious,  of  whom  you 
are  the  Superior  and  the  Mother.  They  all  respect  and  love 
you,  as  much  as  it  is  possible  for  them  to  love  and  reverence 
a  human  being.  He  confides  to  you  thousands  of  children 
to  fashion  for  Him  according  to  His  designs  over  them. 
Any  negligence,  or  indifference  that  might  be  noticeable  in 
you  would  produce  great  voids  in  their  lives.  Seek  the 
most  striking  motives  with  which  to  inflame  all  hearts  with 
love  for  the  Heart  of  Jesus.  See  how  His  passion  is  an- 
nulled, how  His  blood  is  trampled  under  foot !  Say  to  your 
dear  religious,  the  spouses  so  tenderly  loved  by  Jesus,  that 
they  have  been  chosen  by  Him  in  order  to  console  and  love 
Him  superabundantly  in  order  to  share  His  sorrows  at  the 
sight  of  the  loss  of  souls,  and  that,  if  they  do  not  feel  this, 
they  are  greatly  to  be  pitied.  Tell  them  to  meditate  often 
upon  the  admirable  words  of  their  office  and  the  Mass 
of  the  Sacred  Heart,  these  especially :  '  My  Heart  hath 
suffered  reproach  and  abandonment,  and  I  looked  for  some 
one  to  console  me  and  I  found  none.'  Their  life  should  be  a 
continual  holocaust  of  love  offered  to  the  Divine  Heart  of 
Jesus.  There  is  no  place  anywhere  for  mediocrity  in  the 
Society  of  the  Sacred  Heart  of  Jesus !  " 

In  addition  to  the  foregoing  instructive  exhortations 
our  readers  will  pardon  us,  we  hope,  for  quoting  one 

229 


MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

more  extract  from  these  letters  before  resuming  the  events 
which  mark  the  opening  of  this  last  period  of  Mother  Har- 
tley's life,  a  period  of  just  twenty-five  years  of  labor  and 
prayer  and  suffering. 

In  the  following  lines  her  director  invites  his  willing 
disciple  to  enter  more  fully  into  a  life  of  intimate  union 
with  God :  "There  is  a  point  upon  which  I  have  not  touched 
sufficiently,  it  is  the  direct  communication  with  God,  which 
must  be  the  mainspring  of  all  your  actions.  One  cannot  be 
always  occupied  with  the  neighbor,  nor  in  thinking  of 
others,  but  one  may  become  exclusively  absorbed  in  God. 
When  we  look  at  an  object  we  see  more  than  the  object 
itself.  Our  sight  embraces  a  large  circle  around  the  prin- 
cipal object,  but  our  attention  is  fixed  upon  the  central  point. 
Thus  should  we  contemplate  God,  considering  ourselves  in 
that  general  way  which  suffices  for  us  to  know  what  passes 
within  us.  You  give  too  much  time  to  self-introspection. 
You  are  too  easily  affected  by  the  many  casual  accidents 
of  life.  Nature  is  stronger  within  you  than  you  believe, 
otherwise  you  would  be  more  independent  of  things  that 
are  annoying  and  disagreeable.  I  know  that  you  aspire 
to  freedom  of  spirit  and  death  to  nature  that  you  may  live 
wholly  to  God ;  and  you  have  made  progress  in  this  state, 
but  you  are  not  yet  perfectly  established  therein,  and  Jesus 
Christ  loves  you  too  much  to  be  satisfied  with  half  measures, 
weak  efforts  and  partial  success." 

Then,  in  a  tone  akin  to  prophecy,  the  writer  speaks  of 
approaching  trials,  when  he  says:  "Thick  darkness  will  en- 
velop your  soul,  and  God  will  entirely  withdraw  His  sensi- 
ble presence,  and  the  enemy  will  cause  tempests  to  rise  up 
around  you.  Your  virtue  needs  such  trials,  to  grow  accord- 
ing to  the  will  of  your  Divine  Spouse.  This  is  the  third 
period  of  which  I  spoke  to  you  in  a  former  letter,  the  period 
of  perfection.  You  must  enter  therein  with  all  the  ardor  of 
which  you  are  capable,  aided  by  divine  grace.  You  must 
begin  to  long  for  Jesus  and  His  Mother  Mary,  and  His 

230 


VISIT  TO  PARIS 

Cross,  with  such  strength  of  will  and  glowing  fervor  that 
the  voids  of  your  past  life  may  be  completely  filled." 

These  vigorous  counsels  served  to  prepare  Mother  Har- 
dey  for  a  period  of  great  physical  suffering  and  subsequent 
mental  trials.  Her  soul  had  to  pass  through  the  crucible 
to  which  Father  Gresselin  referred,  and  we  find  her  writing 
to  Mother  Barat  of  the  interior  suffering  which  she  endured : 

"  It  is  a  sweet  consolation  to  me  to  be  your  daughter, 
although  so  unworthy,  but  your  charity  reassures  me  in  the 
midst  of  my  interior  dryness  and  torpor  of  soul.  Oh!  my 
venerated  Mother,  how  you  would  pity  me  if  you  knew 
how  much  I  suffer,  and  how  hard  it  is  for  me  to  bear  with 
myself  and  my  miseries.  If  I  could  only  love  Our  Lord 
with  tenderness !  But  all  I  can  do  is  to  throw  myself  upon 
His  Mercy,  and  try  to  resign  myself  to  my  sad  condition, 
trusting  that  with  His  grace  I  will  overcome  the  obstacles 
to  my  union  with  Him." 

Early  in  1861  she  was  attacked  by  an  illness,  the  symp- 
toms of  which  were  truly  alarming,  and  for  several  weeks 
but  faint  hopes  were  entertained  of  her  recovery.  Though 
she  requested  that  the  other  convents  should  not  be  informed 
of  her  condition  the  sorrowful  news  rapidly  spread  through- 
out the  Vicariate  filling  all  hearts  with  anguish,  and  giving 
rise  to  a  veritable  crusade  of  prayer  and  penitential  works 
in  behalf  of  the  beloved  invalid.  Mother  Trincano  ex- 
presses her  grief  in  these  touching  lines:  "Your  tender 
charity,  dear  Reverend  Mother,  has  led  you  to  hide  from  us 
the  misfortune  with  which  we  were  threatened,  but  I  have 
just  heard  from  one  of  our  Sisters  of  your  dangerous  illness. 
We  are  deeply  grieved  to  learn  of  your  sufferings  and  the 
anxiety  of  our  Mothers  and  Sisters  of  Manhattanville.  I 
try  to  be  hopeful,  but  at  your  age,  dear  Mother,  such  a  sick- 
ness becomes  more  serious,  and  the  results  may  be  very 
grave  if  you  do  not  take  the  necessary  precautions.  I  am 
no  longer  in  the  position  which  gave  me  the  right  to  watch 
over  your  health,  but  my  filial  and  unchanging  affection 

231 


MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

certainly  gives  me  the  privilege  of  imploring  you,  my  be- 
loved Mother,  to  have  pity  on  your  children  and  spare  your- 
self for  their  sake.  It  is  needless  to  say  that  I  am  with 
you  in  spirit,  that  the  thought  of  you  never  for  a  moment 
leaves  me.  How  painful  this  separation  is,  and  how  much 
I  feel  the  distance  from  you !  May  my  entire  submission 
to  the  will  of  God  hasten  your  cure,  and  bring  you  before 
long  to  your  Canadian  family,  whose  prayers,  penances  and 
other  good  works  are  daily  offered  for  the  preservation  of 
life  far  dearer  to  us  than  our  own ! " 

Mother  Hardey's  holy  director  writes  to  her  in  a  very 
different  strain ;  evidently  he  felt  that  the  hand  of  God  had 
been  laid  heavily  upon  His  faithful  spouse  and  she  was  to 
remain  humbled  and  resigned  under  its  blessed  weight: 

"  We  heard  from  a  letter  of  Madame  Jones,  that  you 
have  been  seriously  ill.  This  should  be  taken  as  a  new  sign 
of  God's  Providence.  I  told  you  that  you  must  become  a 
sanctuary  of  charity,  where  the  odor  of  sacrifice  continually 
ascends  before  the  throne  of  God.  Our  days  are  short  and 
numbered.  Let  us  not  lose  the  least  portion  of  them.  Of 
himself,  man  cannot  love  God  enough.  He  must  despoil 
himself  of  himself,  change  himself  into  Jesus  Christ,  real- 
izing more  and  more  that  astonishing  word  of  St.  Paul,  '  I 
live  now,  not  I,  but  Jesus  Christ  lives  in  me ! '  You  must 
transform  yourself  into  Jesus  Christ  whom  you  receive  so 
often.  Let  Him  become  the  soul  of  your  soul,  putting  aside 
your  own  individuality,  and  letting  Jesus  Christ  alone  be 
henceforth  your  being.  This  is  the  way  to  fill  up  the  voids 
of  your  life,  and  if  you  do  this,  death  may  come  when  it 
pleases." 

Fortunately  for  her  daughters  and  the  souls  whom  she 
was  to  help  on  in  the  way  of  perfection  and  salvation,  death 
did  not  come  then  to  Mother  Hardey.  Fervent  prayers  and 
skillful  nursing  obtained  in  time  the  result  so  ardently  de- 
sired. The  invalid  rallied,  but  her  convalescence  was  pro- 
tracted and  variable.  Change  of  scene,  entire  rest  and  free- 

232 


VISIT  TO  PARIS 

dom  from  all  anxiety  were  prescribed  as  essentials  to  com- 
plete recovery.  Obedient  as  ever  to  the  orders  of  her  phys- 
ician, Mother  Hardey  consented  to  go  for  a  brief  change  to 
Kenwood.  Her  respite  from  the  duties  of  her  office  was, 
however,  of  short  duration.  Having  gained  sufficient 
strength  for  a  longer  journey,  she  went  to  London,  Ontario, 
in  compliance  with  the  request  of  Mother  Barat,  as  there 
was  question  of  suppressing  the  convent  there,  for  Mgr. 
Pinsonnault  had  transferred  the  seat  of  his  bishopric  to 
Sandwich,  and  many  Catholics  left  the  city  and  withdrew 
their  daughters  from  the  Convent  of  the  Sacred  Heart. 
After  investigating  the  state  of  affairs,  Mother  Hardey  was 
convinced  that  the  good  seed  already  sown  awaited  only  the 
coming  of  a  new  Spring  to  produce  an  abundant  harvest; 
and  so  she  begged  for  further  delay.  Some  months  later, 
through  the  intervention  of  Cardinal  Bofondi,  the  Protec- 
tor of  the  Society,  the  question  of  suppression  was  dropped. 

From  London  Mother  Hardey  went  to  Montreal,  not 
to  seek  health,  but  to  continue  her  mission  of  zeal  in  behalf 
of  the  Society  and  of  souls.  For  several  years  Bishop  Bourget 
had  renewed  his  request  to  have  a  day  school  established  in 
the  city,  urging  that  it  would  prove  a  more  convenient  cen- 
tre than  the  Convent  of  the  Sault  for  the  meetings  of  the 
Children  of  Mary  and  the  extension  of  their  admirable  works 
of  charity.  The  Mother  General  accordingly  appointed 
Mother  Hardey  to  act  in  her  name  and  decide  upon  the 
question,  as  we  learn  from  a  letter  dated  April  28,  1861 : 

"  I  hardly  know  what  answer  to  give  regarding  the 
offer  made  you  by  Monseigneur  Bourget.  If  the  Sault  were 
out  of  debt  I  should  not  hesitate,  provided  you  had  subjects 
for  the  foundation.  The  good  which  our  education  accom- 
plishes in  the  boarding  schools  is  in  reality  only  begun,  for 
it  does  not  enable  our  pupils  to  resist  the  enticements  of  a 
worldly  life,  when  they  are  surrounded  by  families  infatu- 
ated with  it.  It  is  at  this  particular  time  that  young  per- 
sons, whether  single  or  married,  have  need  of  the  help  of 

233 


MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

their  religious  teachers,  and  the  pious  congregations,  which 
can  be  directed  only  in  city  houses,  afford  them  this  oppor- 
tunity. Notwithstanding  the  truth  of  these  considerations, 
I  dare  not  counsel  you  to  undertake  this  enterprise,  ham- 
pered as  you  are  by  debts  and  threatened  by  civil  war.  I 
trust,  however,  to  your  judgment  and  prudence  to  do  what 
is  for  the  best." 

After  conferring  with  Bishop  Bourget,  Mother  Hardey 
promised  to  provide  at  once  for  the  new  foundation,  and  she 
commissioned  Mother  Trincano  to  select  a  suitable  location. 
The  events  which  follow  point  to  a  confirmation  of  these 
words  of  Father  Gresselin :  "  You  are  destined  to  promote 
the  glory  of  the  Heart  of  Jesus  rather  by  suffering  and  the 
Cross  than  by  those  exterior  works  which  the  world  may 
admire  without  knowing  the  secret  of  their  success." 
Mother  Hardey  had  indeed  entered  upon  the  third  period 
of  her  life,  the  period  of  trial  and  consequent  perfection. 
Soon  after  her  return  to  Manhattanville,  a  workman,  em- 
ployed on  the  new  building,  fell  from  a  high  scaffolding, 
and  lived  only  long  enough  to  receive  the  last  rites  of  the 
Church.  His  wife  and  little  children  were  crushed  with 
grief,  as  the  poor  man  died  without  being  able  to  address 
to  them  one  consoling  word.  Mother  Hardey  felt  keenly 
this  affliction,  and  provided  for  the  destitute  family  until 
the  eldest  son  was  able  to  make  a  livelihood  for  his  mother 
and  two  little  sisters.  Shortly  after  this  accident  two  men 
were  killed  at  the  blasting  of  the  rocks  near  the  entrance 
to  the  convent  grounds.  Scarcely  had  she  recovered  from 
this  shock,  when  she  sustained  another  in  the  death  of  one 

of  her  pupils.     Little  Jessie  R was  as  remarkable  for 

her  intelligence  and  precocious  judgment  as  for  the  expres- 
sion of  innocence  which  lighted  up  her  beautiful  features. 
Though  her  mother  was  a  fervent  Catholic,  her  father  was 
still  a  Protestant.  The  diplomatic  circles  in  Washington 
often  met  at  his  house,  and  during  their  discussions  of  the 
burning  questions  of  the  day  Jessie  frequently  glided  in 

234 


VISIT  TO  PARIS 

among  them,  stood  beside  her  father,  and  manifested  a 
lively  interest  in  the  conversation  of  the  guests.  She  was 
not  obtrusive,  but,  occasionally,  she  rebuked  with  an  artless 
grace  those  who  trespassed  on  the  boundaries  of  charity 
or  truth.  The  friends  of  the  family  gave  her  the  title  of 
the  "  Little  Solomon." 

At  school  she  won  the  esteem  of  her  companions  and 
edified  them  by  an  earnest  piety,  especially  during  the  pu- 
pils' retreat,  which  was  her  final  preparation  for  death.  On 
the  third  day  of  the  exercises  she  fell  ill ;  the  following  day 
the  physician  declared  her  case  hopeless.  When  told  she 
was  to  receive  the  last  Sacraments  the  dear  child  said  that 
her  confession  during  the  retreat  had  been  made  as  a  prepa- 
ration for  death,  and  so  she  was  not  afraid  to  die.  The  smile 
that  lit  up  her  countenance  seemed  to  give  assurance  that 
her  soul  hovered  joyously  on  the  confines  of  a  better  world. 
The  parents  had  been  immediately  summoned,  but  just  as 
they  crossed  the  threshold  of  the  convent  their  angel  ex- 
pired in  the  arms  of  Mother  Hardey.  With  genuine  deli- 
cacy, even  while  broken-hearted  over  their  loss,  the  be- 
reaved parents  expressed  their  deep  regret  that  the  shadow 
of  their  cross  had  fallen  upon  the  heart  of  the  devoted 
Mother  who  had  cared  so  tenderly  for  their  child.  Soon 
after  they  gave  fresh  proof  of  their  gratitude  by  sending 
another  daughter  to  be  educated  at  Manhattanville. 

Other  trials  soon  followed.  One  night  Mother  Hardey 
was  aroused  from  sleep  bj  the  cry,  "  Mother,  the  house  is 
on  fire ! "  Without  taking  time  to  dress,  she  hurried  from 
her  room  filled  with  anxiety  for  the  safety  of  the  pupils. 
To  her  great  relief  she  saw  that  the  fire  was  not  in  the 
house,  but  in  the  laundry,  which  was  separated  from  the 
main  building.  She  gave  orders  that  the  children  should 
not  be  disturbed,  and  that  the  religious  should  observe  pro- 
found silence.  The  firemen  soon  reached  the  spot,  and  aid- 
ed by  the  villagers  who  had  hastened  to  the  rescue  worked 
hard  to  keep  the  flames  from  reaching  the  convent.  The 

235 


MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

community  and  the  novices  were  united  in  fervent  prayer 
on  the  enclosed  galleries  opposite  the  burning  building,  and 
a  deathlike  silence  reigned  everywhere.  It  was  not  long 
before  the  firemen  conquered  the  flames.  With  character- 
istic thoughtfulness  Mother  Hardey  had  hot  drinks  pre- 
pared for  the  men  as  the  night  was  cold.  This  act  of  kind- 
ness touched  them  deeply,  and  before  leaving  they  asked 
to  express  their  gratitude  to  the  good  Mother  Superior,  say- 
ing they  would  ever  be  ready  to  risk  even  life  to  save  the 
convent. 

This  accident  was  attended  with  distressing  conse- 
quences to  Mother  Hardey,  who  took  cold  that  night  and 
again  became  dangerously  ill.  She  once  more  rallied,  but 
her  health  was  never  completely  restored.  It  was  in  vain 
she  sought  to  withhold  this  news  from  her  beloved  Superior 
General.  The  tidings  of  her  illness  reached  France,  and 
Mother  Barat  hastened  to  express  her  deep  anxiety.  She 
writes :  "  Since  receiving  the  last  mail  from  New  York,  my 
daughter,  I  have  been  most  uneasy  in  regard  to  your  health. 
The  details  I  have  received  have  greatly  afflicted  me,  and 
I  am  now  watching  for  each  mail,  hoping  it  may  bring 
better  news.  I  trust  some  one  will  soon  relieve  my  anxiety 
which  continues  day  and  night.  If  you,  dear  Mother,  could 
add  a  few  lines  with  your  own  hand,  how  happy  I  should 
be !  This  uneasiness  renders  many  other  trials  sent  us  by 
Divine  Providence  doubly  hard  to  bear.  .  .  .  No  sor- 
row can  weigh  so  heavily  upon  me  as  your  illness,  hence 
I  beg  you  will  keep  me  informed." 

Mother  Barat  had  then  heard  the  worst  features  of  the 
illness  of  her  much  loved  daughter.  Paralysis  of  the  right 
hand  was  henceforth  to  incapacitate  Mother  Hardey  for  the 
accomplishment  of  a  duty  which  she  had  always  held  sacred, 
that  of  carrying  on,  unaided,  her  large  epistolary  corre- 
spondence. For  the  future  the  task  was  to  be  performed  by 
a  secretary.  Her  last  effort  found  expression  in  a  few  lines 
written  with  great  difficulty  to  Mother  Barat  in  1862.  Only 

236 


VISIT  TO  PARIS 

those  who  knew  Mother  Hardey  intimately  could  realize  the 
suffering  that  this  infliction  entailed.  To  be  forced  to  ex- 
press her  secret  thoughts,  and  make  known  her  hidden 
plans,  through  the  medium  of  another's  pen  was  a  continual 
sacrifice,  yet  no  one  ever  heard  a  regret,  much  less  a  mur- 
mur, escape  her  lips.  The  privation  was  the  will  of  God, 
consequently  her  will  also.  For  twenty-five  years  she  bore 
this  cross  so  patiently,  we  might  almost  say,  so  naturally, 
that  she  seemed  to  forget  she  had  ever  been  able  to  write. 
It  was  her  daughters  who  felt  most  keenly  the  privation, 
yet  the  misfortune  proved  to  be  a  blessing  in  disguise.  The 
physicians  attested  that  the  paralysis  which  had  been  grad- 
ually making  progress,  in  forcing  Mother  Hardey  to  lay 
aside  her  pen  helped  to  prolong  her  life,  as  the  labor  in- 
volved in  her  extensive  correspondence  would  certainly 
have  shortened  her  days.  They  had  even  forbidden  her, 
several  months  before  the  fatal  stroke,  to  write  beyond 
twenty  minutes  at  a  time,  and  she,  accepting  the  order  in 
a  spirit  of  obedience,  had  charged  one  of  the  religious  to 
warn  her  when  the  prescribed  interval  had  expired.  Re- 
laxation from  one  duty  afforded  her  wider  scope  for  the 
discharge  of  others.  She  now  devoted  herself  in  fuller  meas- 
ure to  personal  intercourse  with  her  daughters,  and  to  the 
general  direction  of  the  communities  under  her  charge. 


237 


CHAPTER  XX. 

CIVIL    WAR    IN    THE    UNITED    STATES — FOUNDATION    OF 

SANCTO   SPIRITU — LETTERS   OF   REVEREND   FATHER 

GRESSELIN,  S.  J.,  HER  DIRECTOR — 1861-1864. 

While  some  of  the  events  recorded  in  the  last  chapter 
were  transpiring,  the  United  States  entered  upon  one  of 
the  most  critical  periods  of  its  history,  namely,  the  secession 
of  the  Southern  States,  and  the  consequent  struggle  for  the 
abolition  of  slavery,  and  the  maintenance  of  the  Union. 
The  fall  of  Fort  Sumter  gave  the  signal  for  war,  and  within 
a  few  months  a  million  soldiers  had  entered  the  field  to 
wage  a  terrible  conflict.  In  the  peaceful  seclusion  of  the 
cloister,  as  elsewhere,  hearts  throbbed  with  anguish  for 
the  fate  of  loved  ones  exposed  to  the  dangers  of  the  battle- 
field. Grave  cares  and  bitter  sorrows  were  thus  added  to 
the  heavy  responsibilities  which  Mother  Hardey  had  to 
bear.  Her  own  relations  and  early  friends  were  in  the 
South,  her  mission,  devoted  friends,  and  the  religious  com- 
munities subject  to  her  were  in  the  North.  Conflicting  in- 
terests and  affections  found  place  in  her  heart,  but  her  out- 
ward calmness  veiled  from  her  daughters  the  inward  suffer- 
ing she  endured.  Now,  more  than  ever,  she  forgot  her  own 
grief  to  sustain  the  courage  of  those  entrusted  to  her  care. 

"  I  well  remember,"  writes  one  of  her  religious,  "  the 
gloom  that  filled  our  hearts  when  the  news  reached  us  of 
the  battle  of  Bull  Run,  and  the  overwhelming  defeat  of 
the  Northern  Army.  We  were  at  recreation,  and  as  the 
account  was  read  aloud  the  horrors  of  civil  war,  the  wreck 
of  the  Union,  visions  of  bloodshed  and  misery,  rose  so 
vividly  before  me  that  my  brain  seemed  on  fire,  and  my 
whole  being  was  agitated  with  fear.  Instinctively  I  left  my 
place  and  seated  myself  on  a  low  stool  near  Reverend 

238 


CIVIL  WAR  IN  THE  UNITED  STATES 

Mother.  I  felt  that  by  her  side  I  should  grow  calm,  nor 
was  I  mistaken.  She  read  my  thoughts,  and  quickly  turn- 
ing the  conversation,  lifted  up  our  hearts  from  the  sad  fore- 
bodings that  oppressed  them,  to  a  childlike  confidence  in 
God." 

It  required  all  Mother  Hardey's  energy,  tact  and  pru- 
dence to  maintain  the  Manhattanville  school  during  the 
war.  Like  other  prominent  boarding  schools  of  New  York, 
it  depended  largely  for  its  patronage  upon  the  South.  While 
the  loss  of  their  pupils  ruined  many  other  establishments, 
the  convents  of  the  Sacred  Heart  not  only  continued  to 
flourish,  but  were  enabled,  by  Mother  Hardey's  wise  man- 
agement and  great  charity,  to  retain  among  the  scholars 
the  children  of  many  Southern  families  impoverished  by  the 
ravages  of  war.  The  following  lines  from  one  who  was  a 
recipient  of  that  bounty  echo  the  sentiments  of  many  an- 
other pupil  of  Manhattanville,  similarly  favored : 

"  I  am  one  of  dear  Mother  Hardey's  children  of  Man- 
hattanville. Received  during  the  war  as  a  gratis  pupil,  a 
little  Rebel  refugee,  never  shall  I  forget  her  delicate  gen- 
erosity, and  to-day,  as  a  professed  religious,  one  of  my 
life's  motives  is  to  repay  our  dear  Society  for  what  it  gave 
me  through  her.  I  was  made  to  feel  my  position  only  by 
marks  of  particular  kindness,  a  deeper  interest,  and  more 
maternal  dealings  towards  me.  I  was  received  a  Child  of 
Mary,  after  months  of  waiting  and  struggle,  and  on  the  day 
of  my  admission  she  sent  me  the  coveted  medal,  with  a 
little  note  of  congratulation  and  her  blessing.  When  cir- 
cumstances so  shaped  themselves  that  I  was  obliged  to 
enter  the  Novitiate  of  another  Province,  rather  than  that 
of  Kenwood,  she  again  showed  her  exquisite  delicacy  of 
character.  With  her  sweet  words  of  approbation  and  en- 
couragement she  removed  my  embarrassment,  assuring 
me  that  she  cordially  ratified  my  decision.  Though  this  is 
all  personal,  I  feel  that  it  would  be  unfilial  not  to  drop  my 
flower  of  gratitude  on  a  tomb  so  loved." 

239 


MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

There  are  so  many  tributes  to  Mother  Hardey's  gen- 
erosity during  this  sad  period  that  we  are  obliged  to  omit 
several.  The  following  appears  in  the  pages  of  "  A  Story 
of  Courage,"  a  history  of  the  Visitation  Convent  at  George- 
town, D.  C. :  "  Rumors  of  possible  fighting  at  Washington, 
when  the  civil  war  broke  out,  led  to  the  general  belief  in 
some  quarters  that  the  community  would  have  to  disperse 
and  look  for  shelter  elsewhere.  Thereupon  Mother  Har- 
dey,  Superior  of  the  Religious  of  the  Sacred  Heart,  imme- 
diately planned  that  they  should  come  to  her  at  Manhattan- 
ville,  and  prepared  for  them  all  the  rooms  she  had  at  her 
disposal.  That  these  reports  of  dispersion  were  unfounded 
does  not  detract  from  the  ready  and  admirable  assistance 
offered  by  Madame  Hardey,  whose  noble  character  made 
her  beloved,  far  and  wide.  The  Visitation  Sisters  of  George- 
town wish  her  kindness  and  their  keen  appreciation  of  it  to 
be  recorded  here  in  their  annals." 

While  watching  zealously  over  the  interests  of  her  own 
family  in  the  North,  Mother  Hardey  was  not  less  solicitious 
for  those  convents  which  were  exposed  to  the  chances  of 
war.  She  obtained  for  them  the  protection  of  some  of  the 
Northern  generals,  whose  daughters  were  pupils  of  Man- 
hattanville,  and,  as  the  struggle  was  prolonged,  and  devas- 
tation followed  the  tramp  of  the  armies  over  the  State  of 
Louisiana  her  sympathy  became  more  active. 

Mother  Barat,  alarmed  for  the  fate  of  her  families  in  the 
West,  cut  off  as  they  were  from  communication  with  their 
Vicar,  Mother  Jouve,  in  Louisiana,  and  not  appreciating  the 
agitated  condition  of  the  country,  requested  Mother  Har- 
dey to  visit  the  Missouri  convents  and  provide  for  their 
necessities.  The  Secretary  of  Mother  Barat  wrote :  "  Our 
Very  Reverend  Mother  desires  to  know  from  you  the  state 
of  affairs,  and  she  hopes  you  will  be  able  to  give  the  neces- 
sary help  to  the  family  of  St.  Louis,  now  so  sorely  tried. 
Mother  du  Rousier  is  anxiously  awaiting  the  help  you  have 
offered  Chile,  and  of  which  she  has  the  utmost  need.  You 

240 


CIVIL  WAR  IN  THE  UNITED  STATES 

will  be  doing  a  work  of  charity  by  sending  her  assistance, 
but,  at  the  same  time,  can  you  not  do  something  for  the 
house  in  St.  Louis?"  It  was  in  vain  that  Mother  Hardey 
was  urged  not  to  attempt  the  journey  to  St.  Louis;  her 
desire  to  fulfill  the  wishes  of  her  superior  and  help  those 
in  need  of  her  services,  triumphed  over  the  dictates  of 
prudence.  She  set  out  in  the  middle  of  August,  1862,  and, 
after  encountering  many  dangers  and  delays,  reached  St. 
Louis  in  September.  There,  as  elsewhere,  her  presence  was 
a  source  of  comfort  and  consolation,  as  many  letters  testify. 

The  Secretary  of  Mother  Barat  wrote :  "  Our  Mother 
was  happy  to  know  that  you  were  able  to  make  the  journey 
to  St.  Louis.  She  thinks  it  advisable  that  the  Western 
houses  should  correspond  with  you,  while  they  are  unable 
to  communicate  with  Mother  Jouve.  You  must,  therefore, 
direct  the  changes  that  may  become  necessary,  or  useful. 
Your  recent  letter  has  relieved  our  Mother  of  a  great  anx- 
iety, since  it  assures  her  that  the  business  difficulties  of  the 
Convent  of  St.  Joseph  have  been  satisfactorily  settled.  She 
begs  me  to  tell  you  of  her  heartfelt  gratitude  for  your  good- 
ness to  her  Western  families.  They  have  expressed  their 
appreciation  of  your  visit,  and  Madame  Galwey  was  espe- 
cially grateful  and  delighted." 

This  letter  was  followed  by  one  from  Mother  Barat: 
"  How  much  I  suffered,  dear  daughter,  on  learning  of  the 
feeble  state  of  your  health.  Our  Lord  knows  well  that  it 
has  been  shattered  by  the  labors  undergone  for  the  wel- 
fare of  His  little  Society.  He  will  not  forget  your  self- 
sacrifice,  nor  will  your  Mother  be  unmindful  of  your  serv- 
ices. The  news  you  have  given  has  reassured  us  in  regard 
to  the  convents  in  the  West,  but  we  have  no  tidings  of  our 
families  in  Louisiana.  Naught  remains  for  us  but  to  pray 
and  hope  that  Jesus  will  guard  and  protect  them."  These 
prayers  were  not  offered  in  vain.  A  letter  from  Mother 
Jouve  gives  us  an  insight  into  the  condition  of  affairs. 

"  It  would  require  the  voice  of  a  Jeremias,"  she  writes, 

16  241 


MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

"to  depict  the  desolation  of  this  country,  hitherto  so  rich 
and  prosperous.  The  loss  of  slaves,  cattle  and  crops,  added 
to  fire  and  pillage,  have  reduced  the  most  opulent  families 
to  absolute  want.  Thanks  to  the  protection  of  the  generals 
of  both  armies,  or  rather  of  the  Heart  of  Jesus,  our  lands 
have  been  respected,  and  guards  were  appointed  by  the 
officers  to  protect  us  against  the  pillagers  who  infested  the 
neighborhood.  Three  armies  have  passed  over  this  part  of 
the  country  within  a  year  and  the  most  complete  devasta- 
tion is  the  result.  During  the  vacation  of  1862,  our  pupils 
remained  with  us,  as  their  parents  considered  the  convent 
the  safest  place  for  them.  Foreseeing  the  future  awaiting 
these  dear  children  we  determined  to  teach  them  to  do  with- 
out the  service  of  slaves.  We  divided  them  into  bands  and 
taught  them  all  kinds  of  manual  labor.  Some  of  them  even 
learned  to  milk  the  cows,  and  to  do  all  the  dairy  work. 
Their  earnestness  in  this  novel  education  equalled  the  cour- 
age and  energy  which  their  mothers  manifested  at  home  in 
the  most  grievous  reverses  of  fortune." 

Several  of  the  Manhattanville  community  had  near  rela- 
tives in  the  army.  How  maternal  was  Mother  Hardey's 
sympathy  when  the  papers  announced  a  battle  and  recorded 
among  the  killed  or  wounded  those  near  and  dear  to  her 
daughters.  She  caused  Masses  and  general  suffrages  to  be 
offered  for  the  departed,  and  assisted  the  bereaved  families 
with  her  alms  whenever  help  was  needed.  She  also  took  a 
lively  interest  in  the  spiritual  welfare  of  the  soldiers.  "  How 
often,"  writes  a  sister,  "  I  helped  Reverend  Mother  to  pack 
boxes  of  useful  articles  for  the  seat  of  war.  Quantities  of 
lint,  rolls  of  linen,  boxes  of  ointment  and  bottles  of  medi- 
cine. Everything  that  her  charity  could  suggest  was 
brought  into  requisition.  A  supply  of  altar  bread  and  Mass 
wine  was  always  provided  for  the  chaplains."  The  following 
extract  is  taken  from  a  letter  of  Reverend  Father  Nash,  S. 
J. :  "  Madame  Hardey  sent  to  me  for  distribution  among 
the  troops  forming  the  Army  of  the  Gulf  (Nineteenth  Army 

243 


CIVIL  WAR  IN  THE  UNITED  STATES 

Corps),  of  which  I  was  chaplain,  a  large  supply  of  devo- 
tional articles,  such  as  rosary  beads,  medals,  prayer  books, 
and  scapulars.  In  the  name  and  by  the  request  of  the 
soldiers,  who  appreciated  the  thoughtful  remembrance  of 
their  spiritual  wants,  I  wrote  to  the  Reverend  Mother  some 
letters  from  the  seat  of  war.  She  took  a  special  interest  in 
our  little  drummer  boys,  to  whom  she  sent  particular  marks 
of  favor.  The  little  fellows,  with  noble  pride,  exhibited 
through  the  camp  these  presents  which  they  received,  as 
they  informed  us  from  '  the  Mother  of  all  Nuns.'  One  of  her 
little  proteges  died,  whilst  regretting  that  he  was  not  spared 
to  go  home  and  give  '  the  Mother  of  all  Nuns '  the  pleasure 
of  hearing  how  many  beats  he  could  play  on  his  drum." 

During  this  period  of  widespread  suffering  and  trials, 
Mother  Hardey  had  the  sorrow  of  losing  some  of  her  most 
promising  religious,  whom  death  snatched  from  their  ac- 
tive labors  in  the  school,  but  a  loving  Providence  was  rapid- 
ly rilling  their  places  with  new  candidates.  Within  the 
space  of  four  years  fifty  pupils  from  the  schools  in  the  Vicar- 
iate  entered  the  Novitiate,  and  with  two  exceptions  all  per- 
severed. She  was  singularly  blessed  in  securing  for  her 
religious  and  pupils  the  ministry  of  such  Jesuits  as  Fathers 
Gresselin,  Doucet,  Tissot,  Beaudevin  and  others  equally 
zealous  and  spiritual.  We  get  some  idea  from  Father  Gres- 
selin's  letters  of  the  fervor  and  peace  which  reigned  at  Man- 
hattanville,  in  marked  contrast  with  the  rancor  and  bitter- 
ness which  raged  throughout  the  country  during  the  Civil 
War.  On  account  of  failing  health  he  had  gone  to  Kingston, 
Jamaica,  whence  he  wrote  to  Mother  Hardey  on  January 
i,  1863: 

"  MADAME: 

"  I  wish  you  in  particular,  and  all  your  community,  a 
Holy  and  Happy  New  Year.  I  know  of  no  place  where  a 
soul  can  enjoy  greater  peace  and  glorify  God  more  abund- 
antly than  at  Manhattanville.  This  house  remains  in  my 

243 


MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

memory  as  something  heavenly,  an  edifice  which  Our  Lord 
and  his  Blessed  Mother  and  St.  Joseph  have  built  with 
their  own  hands,  in  order  to  dwell  there  as  at  Nazareth,  and 
to  attract  there  souls  that  will  be  devoted  to  them.  In  that 
favored  spot,  there  should  be  no  limit  to  generosity.  The 
true  and  practical  knowledge  of  Christian  piety  consists  in 
recognizing  that  we  are  only  poverty  and  nothingness,  and 
not  to  be  discouraged  because  we  find  ourselves  full  of  de- 
fects and  miseries,  notwithstanding  our  obligation  of  tending 
to  perfection.  Tell  your  daughters  to  be  simple  with  God, 
who  knows  all  our  weaknesses  and  yet  wishes  us  to  call 
Him  '  Our  Father/  Let  them  bear  in  mind  this  truth,  that 
since  Jesus  is  the  propitiation  for  our  sins,  a  single  Mass 
heard,  a  single  Communion  received,  will  procure  more 
glory  to  God  than  all  our  sins  put  together  could  deprive 
Him  of.  They  must  desire  perfection  in  order  to  please 
God,  not  for  the  sake  of  pleasing  themselves.  Banish  from 
your  home  all  low  spirits,  all  mean-spiritedness.  Inflame 
hearts  with  an  enthusiasm  for  their  vocation.  Dilate  the 
hearts  of  your  daughters,  pour  joy  into  them,  otherwise 
you  are  not  a  good  superior;  but,  thank  God,  I  know  the 
contrary !  Love  your  children  as  the  pearls  of  Jesus,  as  the 
roses  and  lilies  of  the  garden  of  Mary.  What  an  angelic 
house  you  have  to  govern!  It  is  the  most  beautiful  image 
of  heaven  we  can  see  on  earth ! " 

In  the  beginning  of  the  year  1863,  thanks  to  the  repu- 
tation which  the  convent  in  Havana  had  acquired,  a  new 
field  of  labor  was  offered  to  Mother  Hardey's  zeal  in  the 
city  of  Sancto  Spiritu,  Cuba.  The  Board  of  Directors  of  the 
St.  Vincent  de  Paul  Society  invited  the  Religious  of  the 
Sacred  Heart  to  take  charge  of  the  education  of  thirty  or- 
phan girls,  for  whose  maintenance  the  association  would  pro- 
vide a  house  and  $30,000,  giving  the  religious  the  privilege 
of  establishing  a  boarding  school  and  carrying  on  all  the 
works  of  their  Institute.  Spiritual  aid  would  not  be  want- 
ing, as  the  Jesuit  Fathers  were  already  settled  there. 

244 


CIVIL  WAR  IN  THE  UNITED  STATES 

Mother  Barat  accepted  these  conditions  and  in  Feb- 
ruary, 1863,  Mother  Hardey  sailed  for  Cuba.  The  voyage 
was  rough  and  stormy,  but  it  bore  no  comparison  to  the 
fatiguing  journey  from  Havana  to  Sancto  Spiritu.  As  the 
railroad  had  not  yet  been  completed,  the  first  day's  journey 
was  made  in  a  small  boat,  exposed  to  the  rays  of  a  tropical 
sun.  The  night  was  passed  in  a  miserable  cabin,  without 
sleep  or  rest,  and  the  next  day  was  spent  in  driving  through 
wild  woods  in  a  jolting  wagon,  with  noisy  half-clad  negroes 
leading  the  horses.  The  little  band  of  foundresses  met 
with  a  cordial  welcome  on  their  arrival.  Mrs.  Natividad 
Yznaga,  wife  of  General  Acosta,  gave  one  of  her  finest  resi- 
dences in  the  principal  street  of  the  city  for  the  use  of  the 
religious  and  the  best  families  considered  it  a  duty  to  offer 
their  services  and  gifts.  The  furniture,  pianos,  harmonium 
for  the  chapel,  were  all  donated  by  devoted  friends  and 
patrons.  The  boarding  school  was  opened  with  pupils  from 
Sancto  Spiritu,  Trinidad,  Cienfuegos,  and  other  neighboring 
cities.  As  usual,  all  were  won  by  Mother  Hardey's  at- 
tractive manner.  Even  the  negro  servants  were  touched 
by  her  kindness,  and  one  poor  fellow,  especially,  followed 
her  around,  watching  her  every  movement.  When  some 
one  complained  of  the  annoyance,  she  quietly  answered,  "  If 
it  gives  him  pleasure,  why  deprive  him  of  it?  " 

It  was  while  occupied  with  this  foundation  that  she  re- 
ceived news  of  the  death  of  her  venerable  father,  which 
occurred  on  December  29,  1862.  Owing  to  the  difficulty  of 
communication  between  the  North  and  the  South,  the  sor- 
rowful tidings  were  first  received  in  Canada  and  transmitted 
by  Mother  Trincano  in  a  letter  dated  March  27,  1863 : 

"  MY  DEAR  MOTHER  : 

"  We  have  heard  from  Rev.  Father  Sellier  of  the  death 
of  your  beloved  father.  In  this  hour  of  suffering  my  heart 
shares  your  grief  as  well  as  your  consolation  in  learning  of 
the  last  moments  of  so  precious  and  cherished  a  life.  It 

245 


MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

appears  that  the  Reverend  Fathers  Ardus  and  O'Reilly  as- 
sisted him  during  his  last  illness  and  received  his  last  sigh, 
and  that  they  were  greatly  edified  by  his  truly  Christian 
virtues.  You  will  have  the  consolation  of  hearing  the  de- 
tails from  Reverend  Father  O'Reilly,  who  accompanied  the 
remains  of  the  dear  departed  to  their  last  resting  place.  He 
has  also  brought  letters  for  you  from  your  dear  family.  We 
have  already  fulfilled  the  sweet  obligation  of  having  Masses 
offered  for  the  repose  of  the  soul  of  your  dear  father,  and 
we  trust  that  he  now  enjoys  the  happiness  of  the  Blessed." 

Mother  Hardey  kept  this  sorrow  buried  in  her  own  heart, 
not  wishing  to  burden  her  daughters  with  it.  She  merely 
asked  for  suffrages  to  be  offered  for  a  departed  soul,  and 
it  was  only  after  she  had  left  Cuba  that  the  religious  learned 
of  her  loss. 

When  the  new  foundation  had  been  ^satisfactorily  or- 
ganized she  bade  adieu  to  her  daughters  and  sailed  for  New 
York,  accompanied  by  four  postulants  from  Havana. 
Shortly  after  her  return  to  Manhattanville  she  made  her  an- 
nual retreat.  Her  spiritual  director,  Reverend  Father  Gres- 
selin,  probably  realized  the  need  she  had  of  complete  rest  for 
soul  and  body,  so  he  wrote  her  the  following  counsels, 
which  were  no  doubt  obediently  observed :  "  In  regard  to 
your  retreat,  I  believe  you  must  absolutely  follow  the  plan 
of  the  last.  The  retreat  is  a  time  of  sweetness  and  peace, 
not  of  agitation  and  sadness,  as  too  many  of  your  previous 
retreats  have  been.  This  one  must  be  a  continual  act  of 
charity,  in  which  you  will  taste  the  suavity  of  the  Hearts  of 
Jesus  and  Mary.  Take  no  particular  resolution.  In  passing 
eight  days  with  Jesus  and  Mary,  your  soul  will  receive  an 
increase  of  light  and  strength  sufficient  for  all  future  needs. 
If  God  should  will  you  to  give  Him  something  special,  He 
will  speak  to  your  heart  with  clearness.  Whatever  is  doubt- 
ful or  cloudy  comes  not  from  Him.  Do  not  be  surprised  if 
I  hold  very  little  to  your  having  fixed  hours  for  anything. 
I  prefer  even  that  you  should  not  fix  any.  I  ask  of  you 

246 


CIVIL  WAR  IN  THE  UNITED  STATES 

something  far  better,  eight  entire  days  in  the  midst  of  the 
Hearts  of  Jesus  and  Mary.  Do  not  leave  them  to  make 
reflections  on  yourself,  forget  yourself  entirely  and  live  and 
breathe  for  those  Sacred  Hearts.  Such  a  retreat  will  be  a 
delightful  and  a  divine  relaxation. 

"  Read  only  the  Canticle  of  Solomon,  but  read  it  atten- 
tively. There  you  will  see  the  ineffable  love  of  Jesus  for 
Mary,  and  Mary  for  Jesus.  That  is  the  proper  subject  and 
proper  sense  of  the  Canticle.  Have  neither  pen  nor  paper 
in  the  room  which  you  select  for  your  solitude,  that  you  may 
not  be  tempted  to  try  to  write.  I  approve  strongly  that  you 
choose  the  Tribune.  The  beautiful  picture  of  Mary  which 
you  will  find  there  before  your  eyes  will  radiate  much  light 
and  joy  into  your  heart.  Never  forget  the  extraordinary 
grace  that  was  given  you  on  that  memorable  eighth  of  De- 
cember, when  you  understood  and  were  fully  convinced 
that  you  must  go  to  the  Heart  of  Jesus  through  the  Heart 
of  Mary.  It  was  a  grace  of  choice,  in  the  sense  that  few 
persons  receive  it;  but  it  is  not  extraordinary  in  the  fact 
that  God  wills  to  give  it  to  many  souls,  but  only  a  few  find 
the  way  which  leads  to  it.  In  your  case  it  was  a  recompense 
for  your  earnestness  and  zeal  in  making  Mary  known  and 
loved." 

After  a  few  more  personal  allusions  to  the  special  graces 
with  which  Mother  Hardey  had  been  favored,  he  concludes 
his  letter  with  the  following  injunction :  "  During  May  I 
wish  you  to  give  an  instruction  every  week  to  all  your 
children  of  the  community,  postulants  included,  and  another 
instruction  to  all  your  children  in  the  school.  If  they  cannot 
be  assembled  together,  then  go  to  each  division  in  turn, 
even  if  you  have  to  speak  each  night  about  the  Blessed  Vir- 
gin during  twenty  minutes  or  half  an  hour.  There  will  be 
no  great  harm  in  that ;  rather  there  will  be  no  harm  at  all. 
The  preparation  will  cost  you  nothing.  You  will  speak 
from  the  abundance  of  a  heart  that  breathes  only  for  Mary, 
and  because  not  studied,  what  you  will  say  will  be  all  the 

247 


MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

more  valuable.  I  except  only  the  case  in  which  it  might 
be  too  fatiguing,  but  only  that.  I  would  be  pleased  to  have 
your  retreat  begin  April  22,  to  close  with  the  dawn  of  the 
month  of  May." 

Mother  Hardey  faithfully  carried  out  the  programme  laid 
down  for  her,  and  not  satisfied  with  the  instructions  which 
were  given  them,  her  daughters  sought  to  profit  likewise 
by  their  Mother's  touching  instructions  to  the  children.  The 
love  of  our  Blessed  Lady  was  carried  to  enthusiasm,  and 
her  altars  were  besieged  by  both  religious  and  pupils,  in 
prayerful  love  and  supplication  for  those  near  and  dear  to 
them.  We  regret  not  being  able  to  find  any  of  the  valuable 
notes  which  were  taken  on  some  special  conferences,  but 
we  can  believe  that  the  suggestions  of  Father  Gresselin 
formed  the  subject  of  them. 

The  following  extracts  from  one  of  his  letters  will  be 
equally  beneficial  to  Mother  Hardey's  daughters  of  the 
present  day:  "Here  is  another  point  upon  which  I  insist 
very  strongly,  and  I  desire  you  to  insist  upon  it  strongly 
also.  Cultivate  the  natural  virtues  in  your  children,  that  is 
to  say,  let  the  mistresses  in  all  the  convents  study  to  give 
noble  ideas  upon  everything  to  their  children,  and  let  them 
pursue  without  relaxation  everything  small  or  mean  that 
they  remark  in  them.  Develop  generosity  in  the  children, 
that  grand  virtue  of  the  heart,  which  drives  out  all  selfish- 
ness and  cupidity.  Let  them  ever  maintain  a  grand,  in- 
flexible uprightness  in  their  dealings  with  others.  Let 
them  learn  how  to  combine  the  independence  of  a  soul  that 
is  free  with  the  most  amiable  modesty  and  simplicity.  I 
really  do  not  know  why,  but  it  is  an  historical  fact,  that  the 
elevation  of  woman  has  always  been  the  infallible  sign  and 
the  measure  of  the  whole  race.  Woman  is  the  safeguard  of 
virtue,  and  of  the  dignity  of  the  family.  This  is  her  privi- 
lege which  she  has  received  from  God.  It  is  also  a  fact 
that  vice  in  a  woman  is  more  shocking  than  in  a  man. 
Tenderness,  goodness,  devotedness,  nobility,  purity,  are 

248 


1  Former  House  at  Atlantic  City,  N.  J. 

2  Arch  Street  Convent,  Philadelphia 


CIVIL  WAR  IN  THE  UNITED  STATES 

virtues  that  belong  to  her,  and  when  she  does  not  possess 
them,  she  falls  much  lower  than  the  man  in  whom  they  are 
lacking. 

"  Man  is  more  active,  woman  more  contemplative.  Man 
acts  in  the  world  and  upsets  nature.  Woman  has  more 
heavenly  instincts  and  rises  more  towards  God.  All  this  is 
not  the  effect  of  prejudice,  it  is  founded  upon  nature  and 
comes  from  God  Himself.  Let  nothing  be  pardoned  in  the 
children,  absolutely  nothing,  which  betrays  the  most  im- 
perceptible degree  of  baseness.  Now  the  most  efficacious 
means  of  developing  their  nature  is  to  penetrate  them 
with  true  ideas  of  the  supernatural  life ;  for  this  I  have 
nothing  to  say,  and  in  regard  to  this  point  of  view  nothing 
is  omitted  in  your  houses.  But  in  regard  to  the  direct  per- 
fecting of  the  natural,  there  may  be  occasionally  a  little  re- 
missness.  Combat  energetically  all  melancholy,  weariness, 
disgust,  all  that  comes  forth  from  the  soil  of  nature.  An 
ardent  devotion  to  the  Hearts  of  Jesus  and  Mary  is  the 
assured  preservative  against  these  noxious  weeds.  If  your 
religious  understand  the  first  elements  of  their  vocation, 
they  will  always  be  in  the  holy  inebriation  of  enthusiasm. 
Voluntary  captives  of  Jesus  and  Mary,  consuming  your 
days  in  their  service  and  love,  cultivating  the  flowers  with 
which  Jesus  and  Mary  will  one  day  crown  themselves,  what 
more  can  you  desire,  what  is  still  lacking  to  you?  If  your 
houses  are  not  a  paradise,  they  are  nothing,  they  have  no 
raison  d'etre! 

"  I  said  above  something  very  honorable  about  woman. 
Let  us  now  say  a  word  about  the  defects  of  her  character. 
She  is  reproached  with  a  mixture  of  littlenesses,  vanities, 
jealousies,  meannesses,  etc.,  and  it  is  said  that  she  is  more 
accessible  to  these  than  man.  It  is  not  that  man  is  exempt 
from  these  defects.  He  has  them  in  a  higher  degree,  and 
because  in  a  higher  degree,  they  change  their  names  imme- 
diately. They  are  called  in  him,  hatred,  vengeance,  rapine, 
treason,  etc.  Now  in  regard  to  these  defects,  it  is  abso- 

249 


MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

lutely  necessary  that  your  religious  should  be  free  from 
them  entirely.  They  must  rise  to  the  highest  level,  like 
those  straight  and  sublime  plants  which  receive  immediately 
from  heaven  the  dew  and  light  which  give  them  life.  Let 
them  be  very  attentive  and  very  sensitive  in  noticing  these 
same  imperfections  in  the  children,  as  well  as  indefatigable 
in  correcting  them. 

"  Here  is  another  point  which  I  do  not  wish  to  omit. 
Dissipate  beforehand  the  terror  of  the  children  in  regard 
to  the  last  Sacraments.  If  you  do  not  do  that  now,  no  one 
else  will  do  it  later.  It  is  necessary  in  their  tender  years 
to  give  them  a  contrary  impression.  I  notice  that  you  are 
a  little  afraid  to  frighten  them  by  speaking  of  death,  that 
you  try  to  hide  from  them  the  knowledge  that  death  has 
come  to  take  an  angel  from  your  house.  It  would  be  far 
better  to  let  them  know  of  his  approaching  visit,  that  they 
may  be  prepared  for  it,  and  profit  by  his  coming  to  entertain 
them  with  the  happiness  which  death  brings,  of  being  united 
with  our  Sovereign  Good,  and  of  the  efficacy  of  the  last 
Sacraments,  which  inundate  the  soul  with  consolation. 
I  mention  this  to  you.  See  if  there  is  not  something  to  re- 
form in  this  matter.  You  see  I  have  not  spared  you.  Per- 
haps I  am  meddling  in  what  does  not  concern  me.  If  what 
I  have  written  comes  from  God,  He  will  know  how  to  render 
it  fruitful ;  if  not,  there  is  no  harm  done  save  waste  of  time 
in  writing.  My  one  desire  is  to  do  good,  and  I  believe  if 
there  is  any  to  be  found  in  these  pages  you  will  put  it  to 
profit." 

We  will  conclude  this  chapter  with  a  few  more  extracts 
from  Father  Gresselin's  letters,  feeling  assured  they  will  not 
fail  to  interest  our  readers :  "  Do  not  give  up  your  subscrip- 
tion to  '  Brownson's  Review/  His  last  number  has  a  num- 
ber of  pitiable  sentences,  but  let  us  not  forget  the  eminent 
services  which  he  has  rendered  to  religion  and  those  which 
he  is  yet  able  to  render.  If  the  good  man  is  wrong  on  many 
points,  those  who  pursue  and  abandon  him  are  still  more 

250 


CIVIL  WAR  IN  THE  UNITED  STATES 

guilty.  It  is  thus  that  poor  human  nature  acts.  We  forget 
so  easily  former  merits,  considering  only  present  faults. 
I  consider  it  as  an  ignoble  narrowness  of  mind  to  give  up 
one's  subscription,  because  for  once,  by  chance,  he  was  mis- 
taken. And  who  is  there  in  this  world  that  does  not  make 
a  mistake?  Who  is  there  that  has  not  his  days  of  darkness 
and  misery  upon  earth?  The  human  heart  is  too  often 
hard,  ungrateful  and  selfish.  Oh,  let  us  guard  ourselves 
carefully  from  these  shameful  defects." 

In  another  letter :  "  Alas,  Madame,  human  miseries  are 
to  be  found  everywhere.  When  anything  disagreeable  hap- 
pens, you  begin,  at  once,  to  suffer  and  to  complain  to  the 
good  God,  perhaps  you  forget  to  simply  pray.  Pray  then 
and  the  good  God  will  hear  you  more  readily  than  if  you 
complained  to  Him.  Where  can  you  seek  refuge  in  your 
difficult  moments  if  not  in  the  Heart  of  Jesus  crucified? 
Patience  then,  Madame,  and  see  in  all  vexations  the  ador- 
able will  of  Jesus,  and  calmly  submit  to  His  guidance,  which 
is  always  so  full  of  love  for  you  and  yours."  So  anxious  was 
her  spiritual  director  to  see  her  perfect  in  all  things,  that 
writing  in  reference  to  a  remark  that  she  had  made  that  she 
"  had  given  two  religious  to  the  Western  Vicariate,"  he 
says :  "  Banish,  I  beg  of  you,  far  from  your  mind  the 
thought  that  you  can  give  your  religious,  were  it  even  the 
youngest  novice,  to  other  Mother  Vicars  or  Vicariates! 
Merchandise  is  given  or  exchanged  in  this  way,  but  not 
reasonable  beings." 

It  was  decided  that  the  novice  referred  to  in  the 
following  letter  should  be  sent  home,  as  her  health  appeared 
too  delicate  for  the  religious  life.  Mother  Hardey  had 
placed  her  at  Eden  Hall,  hoping  that  the  mild  air  there 
would  arrest  the  progress  of  lung  trouble  with  which  she 
was  threatened,  but  it  seemed  that  the  patient  was 
doomed.  Her  father,  Professor  Aiken  of  Baltimore, 
was  notified  to  come  for  his  daughter,  but  the  very 
morning  of  his  arrival  at  Eden  a  letter  was  received  from 

251 


MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

Mother  Hardey  giving  permission  for  the  novice  to  make 
her  vows.  The  prayers  and  pleadings  of  that  faithful  soul 
had  been  graciously  heard  by  our  Blessed  Lady,  under 
whose  statue  she  had  placed  a  little  note,  begging  that  she 
might  die  in  the  Society  of  the  Sacred  Heart  rather  than 
return  to  the  world.  Father  Gresselin  writes :  "  Lately 
Father  Ardia  received  two  letters  from  Madame  Ambrosia 
Aiken.  In  the  first  she  tells  him  she  is  going  to  make  her 
vows,  in  the  second  that  she  has  made  them.  I  really 
doubt  if  two  more  admirable  letters  could  be  written. 
Father  Ardia  gave  them  to  me  to  read,  but  I  shall  take  care 
not  to  return  them  to  him.  What  a  happy  inspiration  you 
had  to  keep  that  angelic  soul !  May  the  good  God  send  you 
a  number  of  subjects  like  her." 

We  may  add  that  Madame  Aiken  realized  all  the  hopes 
that  had  been  founded  on  her.  She  lived  nearly  five  years 
longer  at  Eden  Hall,  where  she  passed  as  an  angel  of  peace 
and  charity,  working  and  suffering  with  all  the  ardor  and 
love  of  a  soul  which  sought  and  longed  for  nothing  but  her 
God.  The  motto  which  she  had  placed  on  her  desk  and 
which  was  constantly  before  her  eyes,  expressed  the  senti- 
ments of  her  heart :  "  Angels  may  love  God  better,  but  they 
can  never  suffer  for  Him."  Madame  Aiken  was  only  one 
of  the  numerous  band  of  grateful  daughters  of  Mother  Har- 
dey who  were  indebted  to  her  for  their  happiness  in  the 
religious  life  and  their  blessedness  in  eternity. 


252 


CHAPTER   XXI. 

DEATH  OF  ARCHBISHOP  HUGHES — EIGHTH  GENERAL  COUNCIL 
— DEATH  OF  MOTHER  BARAT — 1864-1867. 

For  several  months  Mother  Hardey  had  the  sorrow  of 
realizing  that  the  end  was  drawing  near  for  the  father  and 
friend  whom  she  held  in  tender  and  grateful  veneration. 
It  was  evident  that  the  illustrious  Archbishop  Hughes  was 
hastening  to  his  eternal  home.  His  last  public  utterance 
was  heard  by  an  infuriated  mob,  that,  on  account  of  the 
Conscription  Act  in  July,  1863,  made  New  York  a  scene  of 
lawlessness  and  bloodshed.  The  event  has  passed  into  his- 
tory. It  has  a  mournful  interest  for  us,  because  of  its  asso- 
ciation with  the  great  prelate,  who,  through  his  long  career, 
was  an  able  champion  of  civil  and  religious  liberty.  The 
city  authorities  appealed  to  him  to  assume  the  office  of 
peacemaker,  and  though  at  the  risk  of  his  life,  the  arch- 
bishop fearlessly  assented.  He  caused  a  notice  to  be  pla- 
carded throughout  the  city,  inviting  the  rioters  to  meet  him 
at  his  residence.  "  I  am  not  able,"  he  said,  "  to  visit  you, 
owing  to  rheumatism  in  my  limbs;  that  is  no  reason 
why  you  should  not  visit  me,  in  your  whole  strength.  I 
shall  have  a  speech  prepared  for  you.  There  is  abundant 
space  for  the  meeting  around  my  house,  and  I  can  address 
you  from  the  corner  of  the  balcony.  If  I  should  be  unable  to 
stand  during  the  delivery,  you  will  permit  me  to  address 
you  seated,  my  voice  is  much  stronger  than  my  limbs." 
The  invitation  was  accepted,  and  for  more  than  an  hour  he 
addressed  more  than  six  thousand  men,  who  listened  with 
respectful  attention,  while  he  gently  but  forcibly  urged  them 
to  refrain  from  violence  and  return  to  their  homes.  "  They 
cheered  me  all  the  time,"  said  the  archbishop  in  describing 
the  event,  "  and  went  home  in  the  most  peaceable  manner. 

253 


Many  of  those  who  were  Catholics  lingered  around  to  get 
my  blessing,  after  which  they  soon  dispersed." 

The  strong  voice  hushed  the  storm,  and  then  lapsed  into 
silence  forever.  The  archbishop's  health  continued  to  de- 
cline during  the  autumn.  When  in  December  he  was  told 
that  the  end  was  near,  he  made  no  further  reference  to  busi- 
ness, but  thought  only  of  preparing  to  give  the  last  account 
of  his  stewardship.  He  awaited  with  calmness  the  hour  of 
his  summons,  for  he  had  no  fear  of  going  forth  to  meet  the 
Creator,  whom  he  had  faithfully  sought  from  the  days  of 
his  youth.  On  January  4,  1864,  he  passed  away,  leaving  to 
his  flock  the  sacred  memory  of  a  champion  who  had  bravely 
defended  the  stronghold  of  the  Church  during  the  troubled 
days  of  the  nineteenth  century.  His  death  cast  a  gloom 
over  the  whole  country,  but  nowhere  was  it  more  sensibly 
felt  than  at  Manhattanville.  He  had  been  Mother  Hardey's 
prudent  adviser  and  truest  friend  for  over  twenty  years,  and 
his  paternal  goodness  and  unflagging  interest  in  the  welfare 
of  her  religious  family  had  animated  her  courage  in  many 
an  hour  of  trial. 

Archbishop  McCloskey,  his  successor,  was  no  stranger 
to  her,  and  she  knew  that  in  him  she  would  ever  find  a  wise 
and  prudent  counsellor,  although  the  strong  arm  upon 
which  she  had  leaned  with  so  much  confidence  had  been 
withdrawn  forever.  After  his  installation,  the  first  visit  of 
the  new  archbishop  was  to  Manhattanville,  and  when  he 
entered  the  convent,  attended  by  a  large  number  of  the 
clergy,  Mother  Hardey  knelt  at  his  feet  and  reverently  pre- 
sented to  him  the  keys  of  the  house.  He  graciously  returned 
them,  saying :  "  It  would  be  impossible  to  find  a  more  trust- 
worthy custodian,  in  both  a  temporal  and  spiritual  sense. 
Years  of  devotion,  of  labor,  of  signal  success  have  crowned 
your  guardianship,  and  I  trust  that  many  more  may  be 
added  to  those,  so  justly  celebrated  on  earth,  so  rich  in 
merit  for  heaven."  The  principal  feature  of  the  reception 
given  by  the  pupils  was  an  allegorical  representation,  in 


DEATH  OF  ARCHBISHOP  HUGHES 

which  angels  brought  from  heaven  flowers  so  arranged  as 
to  form  the  name  of  John,  the  Shepherd  appointed  to  guard 
the  little  flock.  This  tribute  was  followed  by  an  address, 
and  the  presentation  of  a  crozier  wreathed  with  flowers. 

In  response,  the  archbishop  spoke  of  the  greeting  as  "  a 
welcome  tendered  in  the  eloquent  language  of  poetry  and 
prose,  the  melodious  language  of  music  and  song,  the  silent 
yet  expressive  language  of  fresh  and  fragrant  flowers,  flow- 
ers brought  from  Heaven  by  angels  and  strewn  at  my  feet 
by  little  less  than  angel  hands."  Then  referring  to  the  ad- 
dress and  the  tribute  paid  to  Archbishop  Hughes,  he  dwelt 
at  length  upon  the  virtues  of  his  illustrious  predecessor. 
"  I  love,"  he  said,  "  to  see  your  devoted  remembrance  of 
the  Shepherd  now  passed  away.  Though  conspicuous  in 
the  eyes  of  the  world,  he  endeared  himself  to  you  by  his 
tender,  affectionate  heart,  permitting  you  to  cluster  around 
him,  as  you  would  around  a  beloved  parent.  Indeed,  I  know 
of  no  title  which  this  great  prelate  cherished  more  than  that 
of  the  devoted  and  loving  father  of  his  little  children.  Oh ! 
what  a  pleasure  it  is  to  fly  from  the  cares  and  anxieties  of  a 
great,  though  sacred,  responsibility,  and  find  oneself  in 
the  midst  of  cheerful,  happy  children.  Our  Blessed  Lord 
delighted  to  be  with  the  little  ones.  Is  it  not  just,  then,  that 
those  who  hold  His  place  should  feel  it  a  privilege  to  be 
among  the  little  lambs  of  His  fold?  "  Alluding  to  the  flower 
entwined  crozier,  his  Grace  said :  "  It  is  only  in  the  Sacred 
Heart  that  the  crozier  is  wreathed  with  flowers.  Ah!  yes, 
in  the  outer  world,  it  is  too  often  encircled  with  sharp,  cruel 
thorns.  Indeed,  dear  children,  I  would  rather  carry  the 
crozier  here  than  in  the  grand  Cathedral  of  New  York,  if 
you  will  only  promise  me  that  it  will  always  be  crowned 
with  flowers." 

Yielding  to  the  request  of  the  archbishop,  Reverend 
Father  Hitzelberger,  S.J.,  addressed  the  pupils:  "It  was 
an  old  Roman  usage,"  he  said,  "  for  an  honored  guest  to  be 
accompanied  to  the  banquet  hall  by  a  person  called  his 

255 


MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

umbra,  a  mere  shadow  of  the  splendor  which  preceded  him. 
In  view  of  his  unsubstantiality,  what  can  a  shadow  do? 
In  the  present  instance  he  yields  to  obedience,  and  the  mute 
speaks.  If  permitted  me,  as  one  of  an  older  generation,  to 
speak  in  memoriam  of  the  just  and  good  who  have  gone 
to  their  rest,  I  will  beg  of  you  to  join  to  the  names  of  the 
past  and  present  another  John,  who  was  father  to  both,  the 
venerable  John  Dubois,  from  whose  fountain  of  knowledge 
John  Hughes  and  John  McCloskey  drew  their  first  lessons 
of  piety  and  wisdom.  Let  the  three  Johns  be  a  garland 
around  your  hearts,  that  you  may  testify  in  the  future  your 
appreciation  of  the  past,  by  a  faithful  correspondence  to  the 
numberless  graces  constantly  within  your  reach.  Let  me 
also  express  my  delight,  in  union  with  your  archbishop,  at 
the  dignity  and  grace  displayed  in  your  beautiful  entertain- 
ment, as  well  as  the  modesty  and  simplicity  always  char- 
acteristic of  the  pupils  of  the  Sacred  Heart." 

This  memorable  event  was  soon  followed  by  Mother 
Hardey's  departure  for  France,  to  assist  at  the  Eighth  Gen- 
eral Council  of  the  Society.  She  was  notified  of  the  ap- 
proaching convocation  by  the  following  letter,  the  last  she 
received  from  the  venerable  Foundress: 

"  If  no  extraordinary  event  takes  place  in  the  Old  or  the 
New  World,  we  shall  hold  our  general  Council  either  in 
May  or  June.  If  God  gives  me  life  until  then,  I  shall  have 
the  much  desired  consolation  of  seeing  you  once  more. 
Let  us  hope  that  Mother  Jouve  may  be  able  to  accompany 
you.  What  a  privation  not  to  hear  from  this  dear  Mother ! 
We  are  at  a  loss  to  know  whether  she  is  even  alive !  How 
earnestly  we  pray  that  these  calamitous  times  may  soon  end. 
Ah!  dear  Aloysia,  how  many  frightful  things  have  I  wit- 
nessed since  my  young  days,  and  of  how  many  of  them  I 
have  been  the  victim.  How  much  these  remembrances  help 
one  to  become  detached  from  the  things  of  this  world !  One 
hope  alone  enables  me  to  keep  up ;  it  is  the  joy  of  being  per- 
mitted to  labor  for  the  salvation  of  even  one  soul ;  and  there 

256 


DEATH  OF  ARCHBISHOP  HUGHES 

are  so  many  on  the  verge  of  destruction.  Let  us  then  steer 
our  little  bark  courageously  to  the  end.  The  Heart  of  Jesus 
is  guarding  us,  because  we  desire  to  save  souls.  The 
more  useless  and  unworthy  we  are,  the  more  we  should 
rely  upon  Divine  assistance.  The  great  Saint  Paul  said, 
'  When  I  am  weak,  then  am  I  strong ! '  After  this  blessed 
Convocation,  your  Mother  will  be  ready  to  say  her  Nunc 
Dimittis.  Yet  she  must  always  add,  Fiat  Voluntas  Dei! 

"  While  awaiting  this  desired  moment,  let  us  redouble 
our  efforts  in  preparing  and  helping  souls  to  correspond  to 
the  designs  of  God,  training  them  with  zeal  and  constancy 
in  the  practice  of  their  religious  obligations.  In  this  age, 
when  everything  tends  to  freedom  and  the  enjoyment  of 
life,  how  difficult  it  is  to  obtain  even  from  souls  of  good  will 
the  obedience  and  self-denial  necessary  in  the  spiritual  life. 
Yet  how  can  we  be  true  religious  of  the  Sacred  Heart  with- 
out the  constant  practice  of  mortification,  which  must  be- 
gin in  the  Novitiate,  grow  through  the  years  of  aspirantship, 
and  attain  its  full  development  in  the  professed,  of  whom  it 
should  be  the  distinguishing  mark  until  death." 

Referring  to  a  superior  who  had  asked  to  be  relieved  of 
her  charge,  she  says :  "  I  hope  she  will  never  again  plead 
to  be  put  in  a  corner,  there  to  prepare  for  death.  A  religious 
of  the  Sacred  Heart  should  die  at  her  post,  working  to  the 
end  of  her  life,  if  God  gives  her  strength." 

In  the  month  of  June  Mother  Hardey  embarked  for 
France,  accompanied  by  Mothers  Jouve  and  Trincano.  The 
Council  was  opened  on  the  i/th  of  June,  and  was  presided 
over  by  the  venerable  Superior  General.  It  was  evident  that 
she  was  adding  the  last  links  to  the  golden  chain  of  her 
long  and  laborious  mission.  "  Let  us  quicken  our  pace," 
she  said,  "  for  when  the  sun  is  declining  it  brightens  with 
its  rays  a  greater  number  of  countries  than  at  noon."  She 
was  adding  fresh  fuel  to  the  fires  of  zeal  burning  in  the 
hearts  of  those  around  her,  and  shedding  upon  them  the 
rays  of  her  wisdom  to  illumine  the  Institute  in  every  land. 

17  257 


MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

Several  measures  were  adopted  by  the  Council  in  reference 
to  the  American  missions.  The  convents  in  Canada,  St. 
John,  Halifax,  London  and  Detroit  were  erected  into  a 
vicariate,  of  which  Mother  Trincano  was  named  vicar. 
Mother  Hardey  was  left  in  charge  of  the  houses  in  the 
eastern  part  of  the  United  States  and  in  Cuba.  The  South- 
ern Vicariate  was  likewise  divided,  Mother  Galwey  being 
appointed  Vice-Vicar  of  Missouri  and  Mother  Shannon 
Vice- Vicar  in  Louisiana.  Mother  Jouve  was  henceforth  to 
remain  in  France. 

Before  the  close  of  the  Council  the  aged  Foundress  en- 
treated the  Councillors  to  accept  her  resignation.  Their 
refusal  led  to  the  appointment  of  a  vicar-general  in  the  per- 
son of  Mother  Goetz,  to  aid  her  in  the  general  government 
of  the  Society.  "  By  this  nomination,"  says  the  historian 
of  Mother  Barat,  "  the  past  was  linked  with  the  future,  and 
what  the  Foundress  had  not  done,  but  still  wished  to  do, 
was  now  decided  and  described  in  documents,  which  have 
left  to  her  successors  the  simple  task  of  carrying  out  her 
wishes." 

The  Council  closed  on  July  21,  the  eve  of  St.  Mag- 
dalen's feast.  The  pupils  of  the  rue  de  Varennes  gave 
an  entertainment  in  honor  of  the  Mother  General.  Besides 
the  usual  good  wishes,  they  presented  her  with  fifteen  pas- 
toral staffs,  entwined  with  flowers,  typical  of  the  fifteen 
vicariates  of  the  Society,  all  being  linked  to  the  one  which 
designated  the  true  shepherdess  of  the  flock.  She  distributed 
them  to  the  superiors  surrounding  her,  who  represented  the 
three  thousand  five  hundred  religious,  then  forming  what 
she  loved  to  call  her  "  little  family  of  the  Sacred  Heart." 
(Life  of  Mother  Barat,  Vol.  II.,  page  383.)  All  felt  that  it 
was  the  pause  before  the  final  separation,  and  as  they 
listened  to  the  touching  words  addressed  by  Mother  Barat 
to  the  children  she  loved  so  well,  the  silent  language  of 
tears  revealed  how  deep  was  the  emotion  of  every  heart.  A 
few  weeks  later  Mother  Hardey  knelt  at  the  feet  of  her 

258 


DEATH  OF  ARCHBISHOP  HUGHES 

venerated  Mother  to  receive  her  farewell  blessing  for  her- 
self and  her  American  daughters.  Then,  accompanied  by 
Mother  Trincano,  she  embarked  on  the  Scotia  and  arrived 
at  Manhattanville  on  the  8th  of  September,  Feast  of  the 
Nativity  of  the  Blessed  Virgin. 

The  joy  of  welcome  was  clouded  by  the  news  of  the 
death  of  Rev.  Father  Gresselin,  S.J.,  her  saintly  director. 
He  died  at  Fordham  on  the  Feast  of  the  Assumption,  August 
15,  1864,  after  a  lingering  illness,  borne  with  the  love  and 
fortitude  of  a  saint.  A  few  moments  before  he  expired,  he 
sent  his  blessing  to  his  spiritual  daughters  of  Manhattan- 
ville. Immediately  after  the  evening  office,  the  whole  com- 
munity made  the  Way  of  the  Cross  for  the  repose  of  the 
dear  departed,  though  all  felt  that  he  was  already  pleading 
for  them  before  the  throne  of  that  Immaculate  Queen  whom 
he  had  loved  so  intensely  that  he  could  never  speak  or  write 
without  seeking  to  inflame  hearts  with  her  love.  Mother 
Hardey  felt  his  loss  keenly,  but  her  grief  found  expression 
only  in  prayer  and  generous  suffrages  for  the  venerated 
deceased. 

A  few  days  after  her  return  she  made  known  the  de- 
cisions of  the  late  Council,  and  spoke  to  her  associates  of 
the  touching  examples  of  virtue  given  by  their  saintly 
Foundress.  She  referred  again  and  again  to  Mother  Barat's 
exhortations  on  humility,  charity,  the  practice  of  poverty, 
and  the  observance  of  the  Rule  of  Silence  as  the  means  best 
adapted  to  keep  up  the  spirit  of  the  Institute  in  its  primitive 
fervor.  "  Our  Mother  Foundress,"  she  said,  "  holds  so 
strongly  to  silence,  especially  to  the  solemn  silence  after 
night  prayers,  that  when  questioned  about  the  necessity  of 
sometimes  speaking  during  it,  her  reply  was,  '  Under  no 
circumstances  should  three  words  be  spoken,  when  two 
will  suffice." 

On  the  8th  of  October  we  find  Mother  Hardey  at  Eden 
Hall,  where  she  gave  her  daughters  a  touching  conference, 

259 


MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

some  extracts  of  which  we  quote  from  the  journal  of  the 
house : 

"  You  all  know  the  object  of  the  Eighth  General 
Council  of  our  little  Society,  which  closed  a  few  months 
ago,  and  for  whose  success  you  prayed  so  fervently  and 
perseveringly.  Like  all  our  Councils,  it  was  held  for  the 
purpose  of  examining  whether  any  abuses  had  crept  into 
the  various  convents  during  the  intervening  years,  but  our 
Mother  Foundress  says  this  meeting  had  the  special  pur- 
pose of  consolidating  and  strengthening  the  work  of  all  the 
preceding  ones.  In  the  preparatory  retreat  which  we  made, 
the  Rev.  Father  Provincial  of  the  Jesuits  constantly  re- 
iterated this  text,  '  Seek  first  the  Kingdom  of  Heaven.' 
Seek  God  first  in  all  your  undertakings  and  He  will  supply 
the  rest.  I  repeat  to  you  the  same  injunction.  Let  the  Mis- 
tress of  Class  seek  first  to  strengthen  her  pupils  in  solid 
piety,  for  science,  human  science,  is  only  a  secondary  aim. 
If  you  are  Mistress  of  Parlor,  show  by  your  religious  ex- 
terior that  you  are  not  of  this  world;  evince  no  idle  curi- 
osity in  regard  to  what  is  happening  outside  the  convent 
walls ;  prove  by  your  conversation  that  you  have  little  in- 
terest in  anything  save  the  advancement  of  the  kingdom  of 
God.  Let  your  spiritual  exercises  ever  hold  the  first  place 
in  your  esteem ;  give  to  their  faithful  accomplishment  your 
first  and  principal  attention.  Consider  your  other  daily 
duties  as  secondary. 

"  At  our  meetings  we  examined  the  dispositions  of  the 
religious  of  the  present  day,  and  compared  them  with  the 
members  of  earlier  times.  We  came  to  the  conclusion  that, 
in  many  cases,  the  spirit  of  generosity  and  self-sacrifice 
which  so  eminently  characterized  the  latter  no  longer  exists, 
at  least  in  so  striking  a  degree.  There  is  at  present  a  tend- 
ency to  self-seeking,  a  certain  dread  of  self-immolation,  an 
inclination  to  complain  of  having  too  much  to  do,  instead 
of  offering  and  desiring  to  do  more  than  we  are  required. 
We  found,  too,  that  the  spirit  of  humility  is  giving  place 

260 


DEATH  OF  ARCHBISHOP  HUGHES 

to  the  spirit  of  pride,  and  in  a  few  cases — but,  thank  God, 
they  are  the  exception — to  a  spirit  of  ambition.  Our  Con- 
stitutions say  that  '  each  one  must  consider  herself  the  last 
of  all  and  be  content  with  the  lowest  employments,'  but  now 
some  consider  first  places  desirable,  and  they  are  not  pleased 
when  they  are  put  in  subordinate  offices.  Our  Mother  Gen- 
eral says  that  her  greatest  personal  trials  are  caused  by  the 
want  of  humble  submission  in  those  who  seek  themselves 
in  place  of  God,  and  seem  to  ignore  the  obligation  of  deny- 
ing themselves,  taking  up  their  cross,  and  following  our 
Divine  Lord  in  the  practice  of  those  virtues  of  which  He 
gave  us  the  example  from  His  birth  to  His  death  on  the 
Cross.  It  has  been  remarked,  that  as  soon  as  aspirants  have 
made  their  profession,  or  novices  have  taken  their  vows, 
they  become  less  submissive  to  authority ;  hence,  in  future, 
no  one  can  be  admitted  to  profession  or  first  vows  without 
the  express  consent  of  the  Mother  General.  Hitherto,  in 
foreign  countries,  the  decision  rested  with  the  local  coun- 
sellors, but  facilities  of  communication  with  first  superiors 
render  this  concession  unnecessary  and  undesirable." 

Other  points  of  discipline  and  maternal  recommendations 
were  treated  of  in  this  memorable  conference.  Like  her 
Divine  Master,  Mother  Hardey  went  about  doing  good. 
She  encouraged  the  project  of  establishing  a  day  school  in 
the  city  of  Philadelphia,  and  gave  her  sanction  to  the  plan 
of  a  new  wing  at  Eden  Hall,  to  be  erected  as  soon  as  pos- 
sible. She  later  visited  the  convents  of  Kenwood  and 
Rochester,  renewing  the  fervor  of  her  daughters  and  ani- 
mating their  zeal  in  behalf  of  souls.  She  had  the  painful 
task  of  reconciling  the  communities  in  Canada  and  the  prov- 
inces to  their  withdrawal  from  her  jurisdiction.  In  some 
places  the  ecclesiastical  authorities  protested  against  the 
change  of  government,  but  then,  as  ever,  a  brief  explanation 
on  her  part  inclined  minds  and  hearts  to  the  belief  that  wis- 
dom had  dictated  the  measures  adopted  for  the  greater  good 
of  all  concerned. 

261 


MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

At  "  the  Sault,"  she  opened  a  novitiate  for  the  new 
vicariate,  having  brought  six  of  the  Manhattanville  novices 
to  form  the  nucleus  of  this  important  undertaking.  From 
Montreal  she  went  to  London  and  Detroit,  inspiring  in  both 
houses  her  own  spirit  of  resignation  and  submission  to  the 
Divine  Will.  The  Superior  of  Detroit,  Mother  Eugenie 
Desmarquest,  felt  it  her  duty  to  represent  to  the  Mother 
General  the  difficulties  of  that  house  in  regard  to  the  Beau- 
bien  heirs,  and  that,  in  her  opinion,  it  required  Mother  Har- 
dey's  knowledge  and  prudent  management  of  the  question 
at  issue  to  cope  with  the  situation.  To  this  request  Mother 
Barat  acceded,  and  requested  Mother  Hardey  to  keep  the 
Detroit  convent  under  her  jurisdiction. 

On  her  return  to  Manhattanville,  Mother  Hardey  de- 
voted herself  in  a  special  manner  to  the  training  of  the 
novices.  Her  conferences  and  individual  counsels  filled 
them  with  ardent  zeal  for  their  spiritual  progress.  Once 
when  a  passing  comment  was  made  on  the  fervor  of  her 
"  white  veils,"  she  said :  "  Ah,  t'lis  should  be  the  abode  of 
fervent,  generous  souls.  A  thought  came  to  me  the  other 
day,  which  I  will  repeat  to  you.  Adam  and  Eve  are  said  to 
have  conversed  familiarly  with  God  in  the  terrestrial  para- 
dise. While  you  were  kneeling  before  me  in  the  chapel,  I 
said  to  myself,  the  heart  of  every  novice  should  be  a  para- 
dise, wherein  Jesus  may  enter  and  converse  familiarly  with 
His  Spouse.  If  Our  Lord  does  not  take  delight  in  the  heart 
of  a  novice  of  the  Sacred  Heart,  where  can  He  do  so? " 

At  the  beginning  of  Advent,  she  said  to  them :  "  Make 
your  preparation  for  Christmas  an  active  prayer,  a  prayer 
of  fidelity,  of  silence,  of  mortification.  Exercise  your  zeal  in 
the  performance  of  your  daily  duties,  whether  it  be  to 
sweep  a  room,  to  wash  dishes,  or  to  accomplish  some  task 
in  harmony  with  your  natural  inclinations.  Let  your  fast 
consist  before  all  else,  in  denying  your  passions.  Let  the 
excitable  control  their  impulses,  the  tepid  become  more 
fervent,  the  slothful  more  active,  the  self-seeking  more  de- 

262 


DEATH  OF  ARCHBISHOP  HUGHES 

voted,  the  procrastinating  more  prompt  to  obey  the  voice  of 
duty." 

Speaking  of  fervor  she  said :  "  Fervor,  like  sanctity,  is 
not  measured  by  time.  Though  you  must  give  to  prayer 
the  time  prescribed  by  rule  it  is  not  the  minutes  that  God 
counts,  but  the  amount  of  love  that  you  put  into  your 
prayers."  She  then  pointed  out  the  means  they  should  em- 
ploy to  mortify  the  imagination,  the  memory,  the  affections, 
and  above  all  the  will,  so  that  they  might  prepare  in  each 
heart  a  palace  for  the  new  birth  of  the  King  of  Kings.  On 
Christmas  Eve  she  made  the  words,  "  He  came  unto  His 
own  and  His  own  received  Him  not,"  the  text  of  a  very 
impressive  conference.  "  In  Bethlehem,"  she  said,  "  all  was 
provided  for  the  accommodation  of  the  rich  and  the  great, 
but  no  one  thought  of  Joseph,  of  Mary,  of  the  Incarnate 
Word.  There  was  no  room  for  them.  No  room  in  His 
own  city  for  the  expected  Messias.  Our  hearts  are  moved 
with  sorrow  and  indignation  as  we  read  these  words ;  yet 
how  often  may  they  be  applied  to  us.  Jesus  presents  Him- 
self at  the  door  of  our  hearts,  and  our  actions  give  answer, 
'  there  is  no  room.'  Our  pride,  selfishness,  tepidity,  jealousy, 
low  aims  and  natural  motives  cry  out,  '  there  is  no  room ! ' 
No  room  for  the  meek  and  humble  Babe  of  Bethlehem !  Yet 
the  soul  of  a  Religious  of  the  Sacred  Heart  should  be  the 
glorious  city,  the  sure  refuge,  the  peaceful  dwelling  of  her 
Divine  Spouse.  And  such  would  be  the  case,  if  we  had  the 
true  spirit  of  our  sublime  vocation." 

In  the  early  part  of  December,  1864,  Mother  Hardey  had 
the  pleasure  of  forming  the  acquaintance  of  her  stepmother, 
Mrs.  Hardey,  and  her  daughter,  a  child  of  thirteen  years. 
They  had  come  from  Louisiana,  and  were  going  to  reside 
on  the  old  family  estate  of  Rosecroft  in  St.  Mary's  County, 
Maryland,  which  had  been  settled  on  them  by  Mr.  Hardey. 
Two  of  their  former  slaves,  old  Washington  and  his  wife, 
Caroline,  had  clung  to  their  mistress  and  were  accompany- 
ing her  to  Rosecroft.  On  their  arrival  Mother  Hardey 

263 


MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

noticed  that  the  aged  negress  was  too  lightly  clad.  She  left 
the  parlor  and  soon  returned  with  a  shawl  which  she 
wrapped  around  the  old  woman's  shoulders.  Touched  by 
her  goodness,  old  Washington  broke  forth  into  words  of 
praise  and  admiration :  "  O  Miss  Mary,  de  Lord  bress  you ! 
You  just  like  ole  Massa!  You  his  true  chile  sure!  " 

Mr.  Hardey's  second  wife  was  Miss  Elizabeth  Millard 
of  Baltimore,  a  gentle  attractive  lady,  whom  Mother  Har- 
dey  always  treated  with  filial  respect  and  delicate  considera- 
tion. Pauline,  the  daughter  of  this  second  marriage,  became 
later  on  the  object  of  her  most  affectionate  solicitude. 

On  the  1 5th  of  February,  1865,  Mother  Hardey  sailed  for 
Cuba.  Before  leaving  Manhattanville,  she  gave  as  practice 
to  her  daughters :  "  Great  fidelity  to  community  exercises, 
and  the  serious  practice  of  meekness  and  humility."  More- 
over recommending  vigilance  in  regard  to  the  pupils,  she 
recalled  the  words  of  St.  Francis  de  Sales,  "  More  flies  may 
be  caught  by  a  drop  of  honey,  than  by  a  barrel  of  vinegar  " 
and  added,  "  you  may  do  more  good  to  a  child  by  one  kind 
word,  than  by  a  whole  day  of  scolding."  The  times  were 
critical  and  there  existed  grave  necessity  for  gentle  firmness 
in  the  school. 

After  strengthening  and  confirming  her  Cuban  families 
in  their  arduous  labors  for  souls,  she  returned  to  Manhat- 
tanville in  time  to  take  part  in  the  offices  of  Holy  Week. 
Good  Friday,  the  I4th  of  April,  1865,  is  memorable  as  the 
date  of  a  tragedy  that  thrilled  the  nation  with  horror,  the 
assassination  of  President  Lincoln.  The  announcement 
reached  Manhattanville  as  the  pupils  were  leaving  for  the 
Easter  holidays.  Those  who  remained  at  the  convent  were 
principally  the  children  of  Southern  families ;  and  the  wise 
superior,  in  order  to  check  party  feeling,  prolonged  the 
vacation  until  the  national  demonstrations  of  mourning 
were  over.  She  further  gave  orders  that  the  pupils  who 
returned  wearing  mourning  badges  should  lay  them  aside 
before  entering  the  class  room. 

264 


DEATH  OF  ARCHBISHOP  HUGHES 

In  one  instance,  the  command  was  disregarded.  The 
daughter  of  a  noted  politician  (Horace  Greeley)  refused 
to  remove  her  badge,  so  it  was  quietly  unpinned  by  one  of 
the  mistresses.  The  act  was  considered  an  insult  to  patriot- 
ism. Loud  protests  were  heard  at  the  following  recreation, 
and  two  inexperienced  mistresses  tried  to  pacify  the 
aggrieved  parties  by  their  silent  sympathy.  This  circum- 
stance only  intensified  the  excitement.  Mother  Hardey's 
firmness,  however,  soon  restored  tranquillity.  She  called  to 
her  room  the  mistresses  engaged  in  the  school  at  the  time 
of  the  uproar,  and  inquired  of  each  in  turn  what  had  taken 
place.  In  some  of  the  departments  there  had  been  no  dis- 
turbance whatever.  "  I  thought  not,"  said  Mother  Hardey, 
"  the  children  are  quick  to  discover  who  are  the  political 
religious."  This  was  her  only  reproof  to  the  imprudent 
mistresses,  who  humbly  begged  her  pardon,  and  asked  what 
they  should  do  when  the  children  asked  them  to  which  side 
they  belonged.  "  Tell  them,"  she  said,  "  that  you  belong 
to  the  Sacred  Heart." 

Mother  Hardey's  great  prudence  and  gentle  firmness 
secured  for  Manhattanville  an  ever  increasing  prosperity. 
It  is  not,  therefore,  surprising,  that  the  fame  of  the  academy 
was  associated  in  the  public  mind  with  the  gifted  superior. 
The  following  tribute  to  her  worth  appeared  in  a  New  York 
newspaper  of  1865 :  "  Few  persons  have  been  more  instru- 
mental under  the  blessing  of  God,  than  Madame  Hardey,  in 
propagating  conventual  life  and  conventual  education  in 
America.  Her  administrative  talent,  strong  good  sense,  and 
that  discernment  of  spirit,  so  needful  in  determining  re- 
ligious vocations,  combine  in  her  character,  to  adapt  her 
for  her  work  and  for  her  age ;  and  when  the  Catholic  his- 
torian comes  to  gather  up  the  material  of  our  period,  a  con- 
spicuous chapter  will  recount  the  works  of  Madame  Hardey 
and  her  convents." 

Mother  Hardey  was  wholly  absorbed  in  promoting  the 
welfare  of  her  religious  families,  when  in  the  month  of  June, 

265 


MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

1865,  she  received  the  sad  news  of  the  death  of  the  venerated 
Foundress.  At  the  first  announcement  of  the  threatened 
danger,  she  assembled  her  daughters,  and  gave  expression 
to  her  grief  in  a  touching  conference,  of  which  we  give  the 
following  extracts :  "  You  know  already,  the  contents  of 
the  three  circular  letters  which  have  brought  us  the  saddest 
news,  for  no  calamity  could  be  greater  than  the  loss  of  cur 
sainted  Mother.  Although  our  fears  are  not  yet  confirmed, 
I  feel  that  on  Ascension  day,  our  Mother  ended  her  pilgrim- 
age here  below.  When  one  that  is  dear  to  us  has  left  us, 
it  is  natural  and  at  the  same  time  consoling,  to  recall  her 
words  and  her  desires.  Let  us  do  so  now.  We  know  that 
our  Very  Reverend  Mother  Barat  was  a  model  of  every 
virtue,  but  that  which  characterized  her,  and  was  her  dis- 
tinguishing mark,  was  her  humility.  She  demonstrated  its 
necessity  at  the  last  council,  and  made  it  a  duty,  so  to  speak, 
for  the  Mother  Vicars  to  inculcate  it  in  their  different 
families.  '  Remind  them/  she  said,  '  that  with  humility  they 
can  do  all  things  for  the  Glory  of  God,  while  without  it, 
they  can  do  nothing.  We  may  then  be  confident,  that  the 
last  wish  of  our  Mother  is,  that  we  should  practice  this  vir- 
tue, and  I  am  certain,  that  if  she  were  able  to  speak  in  her 
last  moments,  her  recommendation  to  the  entire  Society, 
would  have  been  an  exhortation  to  humility."  Then  point- 
ing out  to  her  daughters  the  means  of  acquiring  this  virtue, 
Mother  Hardey  urged  them  to  labor  seriously  to  overcome 
the  obstacles,  reminding  them  that  one  proud  religious  may 
sometimes  prevent  the  blessing  of  God  upon  a  whole  house. 
Mother  Barat  went  to  her  reward  on  the  Feast  of  the 
Ascension,  May  25,  1865,  in  the  eighty-sixth  year  of  her  age. 
On  the  Sunday  previous,  as  she  entered  the  recreation  room 
where  all  her  daughters  were  assembled,  she  said :  "  I  have 
come  to  spend  a  little  time  with  you  to-day,  because  on 
Thursday  I  must  leave  you  for  Heaven !  "  Was  this  a 
prophecy?  At  any  rate,  the  next  day,  Monday,  was  to  be  an 
eventful  one.  The  venerable  Mother  rose,  as  usual  at  five 

266 


DEATH  OF  ARCHBISHOP  HUGHES 

o'clock,  made  her  morning  meditation,  assisted  at  Mass  and 
prolonged  her  prayer  in  the  chapel  until  half  past  eight.  She 
went  back  to  her  room  and  was  quietly  reading  her  letters, 
when  the  Sister  brought  in  her  breakfast.  She  was 
about  to  begin,  when  she  said  to  the  Sister,  "  I  am  not  well 
this  morning,"  then,  holding  her  head  in  her  hands,  she  ex- 
claimed, "  Oh,  my  head,  my  head !  "  Courageous  to  the  end, 
she,  at  first,  refused  to  go  to  bed,  but  was  soon  obliged  to 
yield  to  it.  When  a  blister  was  suggested,  she  answered, 
"  You  would  do  well."  These  were  her  last  words,  her 
tongue  lost  the  power  of  utterance  and  the  physicians  ascer- 
tained that  there  was  congestion  of  the  brain,  which  nothing 
could  relieve. 

During  the  days  which  followed,  she  seemed  to  retain 
consciousness.  At  the  administration  of  the  last  Sacra- 
ments when  she  received  the  Holy  Viaticum,  a  beau- 
tiful expression  of  heavenly  fervor  illumined  her  counte- 
nance. She  answered  the  questions  addressed  by  a  pressure 
of  her  hands  quickly  and  energetically  made,  and  it  was 
evident  that  her  soul  had  its  entire  freedom,  and,  in  con- 
sequence, the  full  merit  of  the  sacrifice  she  was  offering  to 
God.  When  asked  to  bless  the  Society  her  hand  was  raised 
with  an  eagerness  which  moved  all  to  tears,  but  when  her 
physician  asked,  "Will  you  not  also  bless  your  doctors?" 
she  made  no  sign.  Humble  to  the  end,  she  did  not  feel  that 
it  belonged  to  her  to  bless  anyone  but  her  own  daughters. 

On  the  anniversary  of  the  day  on  which  her  Divine 
Spouse  had  left  this  earth,  she  went  to  that  eternal  rest, 
where  thirteen  hundred  and  sixty  eight  of  her  daughters 
were  waiting  to  lead  her  to  the  Heavenly  Bridegroom, 
whom  she  longed  to  see  face  to  face.  The  loss  of  her  saintly 
Mother,  who  had  ever  been  a  pillar  of  light  in  guiding  her 
labors,  was  the  greatest  sorrow  of  Mother  Hardey's  life. 
Some  weeks  later  she  was  called  to  Paris  to  take  part  in  the 
election  of  a  new  Mother  General.  Before  leaving  she  made 
the  necessary  preparations  for  the  opening  of  a  day  school 

267 


MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

in  Philadelphia,  by  request  of  Archbishop  Wood,  and  also 
of  the  Children  of  Mary,  who  for  several  years  had  formed 
a  numerous  and  zealous  congregation,  under  the  direction 
of  Rev.  Father  Barbelin,  S.J.,  meeting  once  a  year  at  Eden 
Hall.  She  sailed  on  the  gih  of  August,  with  Mothers  Gal- 
wey  and  Shannon,  and  a  novice  from  Manhattanville.  We 
are  indebted  to  the  pen  of  the  last  mentioned  for  details  of 
the  voyage  and  the  sojourn  in  Paris.  The  letter  is  dated 
from  Amiens,  where  the  travellers  stopped  for  a  short  time. 
"  At  Amiens,  dear,  delightful  Amiens,"  writes  the  novice, 
"  we  received  the  warmest  welcome.  I  do  not  believe  there 
is  another  house  in  the  Society  like  it  for  genuine  kindness 
and  simplicity.  Mother  Roger  is  superior,  and  Mother 
knew  her  well,  so  it  was  a  meeting  of  old  friends,  and  every- 
one seemed  to  vie  with  one  another  as  to  who  should  be  the 
kindest.  Every  inch  here  is  hallowed  ground.  Unfortu- 
nately they  had  to  demolish  the  original  house,  so  long 
sanctified  by  the  presence  of  our  Mother  Foundress,  but 
they  have  done  their  best  to  preserve  all  the  recollections  of 
the  past.  There  is  an  exquisite  chapel  built  where  our 
Mother  was  first  named  Superior  General.  It  is  entire- 
ly white  and  gold,  and  the  altar  of  white  marble  with  gold 
ornamentation  is  the  most  simple  and  beautiful  I  have  ever 
seen.  The  stained  glass  windows  casting  a  warm  rich  glow 
over  the  whole,  relieve  the  chapel  of  any  effect  of  coldness. 
The  statue  of  Notre  Dame  du  Berceau  is  lovely.  It  stands 
in  an  alcove  behind  the  altar,  and  on  either  side  are  St.  Jo- 
seph and  St.  Aloysius.  The  little  tribune,  facing  the  altar, 
is  upheld  by  two  colossal  angels,  everything  being,  as  I 
have  said,  of  white  and  gold.  In  the  wall  is  a  large  white 
marble  tablet,  just  sent  from  Rome,  beautifully  set  in  a 
border  of  colored  marbles,  with  a  Latin  inscription  in  gilt 
letters,  telling  that  on  this  spot,  Madeleine  Louise  Sophie 
Barat,  Foundress  of  the  Society  of  the  Sacred  Heart,  was 
named  Superior  General,  on  the  25th  of  November,  A.  D. 
1802. 

268 


DEATH  OF  ARCHBISHOP  HUGHES 

"  The  morning  after  our  arrival  we  had  Mass  in  this 
cherished  and  holy  spot.  It  is  only  on  great  occasions  that 
they  have  Mass  here,  but  the  Superior  obtained  this  privi- 
lege for  our  Mother.  At  first  this  heavenly  little  sanctuary 
was  called  Notre  Dame  des  Souvenirs,  but  at  its  consecra- 
tion the  Archbishop  of  Amiens  in  his  sermon  said,  that  every 
house  might  have  such  a  chapel,  as  each  one  had  its  own 
'souvenirs/  but  not  another  one  could  claim  to  be  the  cradle 
of  the  Society,  therefore  the  title  must  be  '  Notre  Dame  du 
Berceau.'  On  the  25th  of  every  month  all  the  religious  as- 
semble there  to  recite  the  Miserere  and  Te  Deum,  and  it  is 
there  that  the  renewal  of  vows  takes  place. ..  .Everything 
we  saw  delighted  us,  and  Reverend  Mother  could  not  con- 
gratulate herself  sufficiently,  for  having  decided  to  visit  this 
hallowed  place." 

In  alluding  to  the  arrival  in  Paris,  the  writer  says,  "  We 
found  the  Custom  House  officers  very  polite.  They  inquired 
if  we  had  any  cigars,  and  were  so  much  amused  by  Rev- 
erend Mother's  answer,  '  I  forgot  to  bring  some,'  that  they 
returned  the  keys  without  opening  a  trunk."  Again  re- 
ferring to  Mother  Hardey  she  says :  "  If  in  America  I 
always  thought  her  a  saint,  I  am  sure  of  it  now.  Her 
humility  and  self-forgetfulness  lead  her  to  seek  always  the 
last  place  and  to  act  as  if  she  was  the  least  of  all.  She 
misses  our  Mother  Foundress  very  much.  I  think  she  feels 
her  loss  all  day  long.  Every  morning  she  goes  to  her  little 
room  to  pray,  and  I  love  to  kneel  just  behind  her,  for  I  think 
our  venerated  Mother  cannot  fail  to  listen  to  me,  when  I  am 
near  one  of  her  dearest  and  holiest  daughters.  Reverend 
Mother  prays  for  everyone  while  there,  and  with  the  great- 
est fervor,  so  wrapt,  so  intense,  that  it  seems  as  if  she  was 
in  sensible  communication  with  our  departed  Mother.  She 
says  that  she  tells  her  all  her  troubles,  all  her  difficulties, 
and  her  projects,  and  then  she  is  satisfied ;  and  truly,  when 
she  leaves  the  room,  the  peace  on  her  countenance  is 
heavenly." 

269 


MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

The  little  room  alluded  to  was  the  apartment  which  had 
been  occupied  by  Mother  Barat  for  some  years  before  her 
death.  The  American  novice  gives  the  following  descrip- 
tion of  the  spot,  now  so  sacred  to  Mother  Barat's  daughters : 
"  Where  the  bed  formerly  stood,  is  a  simple  altar  of  white 
and  gold,  the  tabernacle  surmounted  by  a  large  gilt  crucifix, 
and  above,  a  painting  of  the  Sacred  Heart.  The  furniture, 
with  the  exception  of  a  few  kneeling  chairs,  is  just  as  it  was 
during  her  lifetime.  Her  little  table  and  footstool,  her  chair 
and  priedieu,  are  all  there.  On  the  mantel  stands  her  little 
statue  of  the  Blessed  Virgin,  with  a  smaller  one  of  St.  Jo- 
seph, and  two  little  vases  of  flowers  on  either  side;  while 
above,  hangs  a  colored  photograph  of  our  venerated  Mother 
herself.  Her  cross  and  ring,  her  little  brass  crucifix,  the 
constant  companion  of  her  faithful  life,  which  never  left  her 
hand  during  her  illness,  the  spoon  in  which  she  received  the 
Holy  Viaticum  are  framed  in  a  glass  case,  together  with 
the  white  wreath  which  crowned  her,  and  the  branch  of 
lilies  she  held  in  her  hand  after  death.  Do  you  know  that 
our  Mother  has  already  worked  several  miracles?  One  is  so 
striking  that  I  must  tell  it  to  you. 

"  One  of  our  religious  at  Lille  had  suffered  for  a  long 
time  with  a  painful  ulcer  on  the  knee.  She  went  about  on 
crutches,  unable  to  do  any  work,  and  suffering  excruciating 
pain.  After  our  Mother  Foundress's  death,  she  determined 
to  make  a  novena  to  her,  in  which  every  one  in  the  com- 
munity joined.  The  very  first  day,  on  touching  her  knee 
with  a  picture  which  had  touched  the  body  of  our  Mother, 
it  was  entirely  healed.  The  doctor  who  was  attending  her 
at  once  declared  the  cure  miraculous  and  supernatural,  but 
waited  a  month  to  see  if  the  conditions  would  continue. 
He  then  gave  his  attestation  of  the  miracle.  The  family  of 
the  religious  sent,  in  token  of  gratitude,  a  pair  of  silver 
crutches,  as  an  ex-voto  offering,  for  the  altar  in  our  Mother's 
room.  Here  they  hang,  a  proof  of  one  of  her  first  miracles. 

"  The  atmosphere  of  the  mother-house  seems  to  breathe 

270 


DEATH  OF  ARCHBISHOP  HUGHES 

of  Heaven.  I  am  almost  expecting  to  see  Our  Lord  Himself, 
in  person,  at  every  turn  of  the  long  corridors,  and  the  re- 
ligious silence  is  so  profound,  that  it  is  really  palpable.  Our 
Mothers,  when  you  meet  them,  have  such  an  interior  recol- 
lected appearance,  and  greet  you  at  the  same  time  with  such 
a  winning,  gentle  courtesy,  that  they  seem  like  angels  pass- 
ing on  their  way.  Here  one  sees  the  active  life  combined 
with  the  full  enjoyment  of  the  contemplative.  The  gardens 
are  beautiful.  The  tree,  planted  by  our  Mother  Foundress, 
overshadows  with  its  widespreading  branches  a  lovely 
statue  of  Mater  Admirabilis  in  sorrow.  It  is  in  a  little 
grotto,  covered  with  vines  and  ivy,  and  it  is  so  touching  in 
its  attitude  of  profound  grief,  with  the  nails  in  the  hands, 
instead  of  the  spindle,  and  the  lance  and  the  crown  of  thorns, 
instead  of  the  lily,  that  it  is  hard  to  tear  oneself  away.  It 
goes  to  the  heart,  to  mine  at  least,  even  more  than  the  Vir- 
gin in  the  Temple,  but  you  should  pass  from  one  to  the 
other,  so  alike  and  yet  so  different.  At  the  foot  of  the  grotto 
are  two  inscriptions,  one  stating  that  the  statue  is  an  offer- 
ing to  the  memory  of  their  venerated  Mother  by  the  pupils 
of  the  rue  de  Varennes,  and  the  other  as  follows:  'This 
cedar  was  planted  in  1820  by  our  venerated  Mother  Gen- 
eral. Under  its  shadow  she  often  rested.  She  did  not  labor 
for  herself  only,  but  for  all  that  seek  out  the  truth,'  Ecclus. 
xxiv,  47 ;  '  The  root  of  wisdom  never  faileth,'  Wisdom 
iii,  15." 

At  this  momentous  period,  prayer  was  the  urgent  need 
of  the  Society  of  the  Sacred  Heart,  but  especially  of  the 
members  called  to  take  part  in  the  coming  election.  The 
choice  of  a  successor  to  the  Foundress  was  a  matter  of  the 
gravest  importance.  The  four  assistants  general,  and  the 
fifteen  vicars  entered  into  a  spiritual  retreat,  and  at  its  close, 
Mother  Goetz,  the  youngest  member  of  the  council,  was 
unanimously  elected  Superior  General.  The  novice  scribe 
thus  relates  the  event  from  the  information  given  her:  "  At 
seven  o'clock  on  the  morning  of  our  Lady's  Nativity,  M, 

271 


MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

1'Abbe  Surat,  Vicar-General  and  ecclesiastical  Superior,  rep- 
resenting the  Archbishop  of  Paris,  said  the  Mass  of  the 
Holy  Ghost,  at  which  all  the  Mother  Counsellors  communi- 
cated. At  8:30  they  assembled  in  the  council  hall,  each 
vicar  taking  her  place  according  to  seniority  of  profession. 
Mother  Goetz  presided,  assisted  by  the  other  two  Mothers, 
who  were  to  examine,  with  her,  the  votes.  Mgr.  Surat 
was  present,  seated  on  a  low  platform  on  the  Gospel  side 
of  the  altar,  placed  in  the  room  for  the  occasion.  The 
Council  opened  by  the  '  Veni  Creator/  and  Mgr.  Surat 
then  addressed  the  assembly  a  few  words  of  exhortation 
appropriate  to  the  occasion.  A  folded  paper  ballot  was 
passed  to  each  one,  upon  which  she  inscribed  the  name  of 
the  one  she  deemed  most  worthy.  Then,  in  procession,  all 
went  to  the  altar,  where  they  deposited  their  papers  in  an 
urn,  reciting  the  formula  prescribed  for  the  occasion.  The 
urn  was  then  carried  to  Mother  Goetz,  who  turning  to  Mgr. 
Surat,  unfolded  each  paper,  then  handed  it  to  one  of  the 
Mothers,  who  read  aloud  the  name,  while  the  other  regis- 
tered it  on  the  paper  before  her.  They  say  that  as  she 
opened  each  paper,  one  after  another,  Mother  Goetz  grew 
paler,  but  she  was  perfectly  calm  and  mistress  of  herself. 
When  the  last  vote  was  opened,  she  threw  herself  at  Mgr. 
Surat's  feet,  while  Mother  Prevost,  the  oldest  member  of 
the  Council,  announced  that  by  the  unanimous  vote  of  the 
Society,  Mother  Josephine  Goetz  was  elected  to  the  office  of 
Superior  General.  '  What/  said  Mgr.  Surat,  '  do  you  still 
doubt,  when  the  unanimous  voice  of  the  Society  calls  you  to 
govern  it,  that  light  and  grace  will  be  wanting  to  you  in  the 
fulfillment  of  your  charge? '  He  then  blessed  her,  and  she 
was  led  to  her  chair,  where  the  Mothers  came  forward  to 
pay  her  the  homage  of  their  filial  submission,  kneeling  and 
kissing  her  hand. 

"  After  this  ceremony,  which,  they  say,  was  touching  in 
the  extreme,  they  all  proceeded  to  the  chapel  in  procession, 
the  youngest  first  and  Mother  Goetz  the  last,  followed  by 

272 


DEATH  OF  ARCHBISHOP  HUGHES 

Mgr.  Surat,  reciting  the  '  Benedictus.'  The  moment  the 
new  Mother  General  appeared  at  the  chapel  door,  the  whole 
community  being,  of  course,  assembled  there,  the  organ 
gave  the  note  of  the  Te  Deum,  which  all  sang,  while  Mother 
Prevost  led  our  new  Mother  to  her  stall,  that  stall  which 
had  been  vacant  since  our  venerated  Mother's  death.  Mgr. 
Surat  then  gave  a  beautiful  instruction  on  the  authority  of 
superiors,  which  always  comes  from  God,  alluding  very 
feelingly  to  our  Mother  Foundress,  in  a  manner  so  delicate 
that  it  could  only  comfort  and  console  the  one  chosen  to 
take  her  place.  He  also  addressed  a  few  words  to  her  of 
encouragement  and  congratulation,  speaking  of  the  pleasure 
it  undoubtedly  gave  her  venerated  Mother  to  see  her  in  that 
place.  A  second  Mass  was  then  said,  after  which  the  com- 
munity assembled  to  pay  homage  to  their  Mother." 

The  new  Mother  General  manifested  the  most  maternal 
interest  in  the  welfare  of  the  American  houses,  and  decided 
upon  several  important  changes  in  the  New  York  Vicariate, 
among  others,  the  project  of  transferring  the  novitiate  from 
Manhattanville  to  Kenwood.  Mother  Hardey  returned  to 
New  York  about  the  end  of  September.  She  visited  the 
little  foundation  in  Philadelphia  in  November,  and  was 
much  pleased  to  find  already  forty-five  pupils  in  the  school. 
With  the  first  cold  days  of  winter,  an  accident  occurred  at 
Manhattanville,  which  gave  her  a  terrible  shock.  During 
the  hour  of  meditation,  about  6  a.  m.,  as  she  was  praying  in 
the  chapel,  the  noise  of  an  explosion  shook  the  house,  and, 
hastening  from  the  chapel,  she  found  that  the  boiler  in  the 
engine  house  had  burst  and  the  engineer  was  buried  in  the 
ruins.  Her  first  words  were,  "  Send  for  the  priest !  " 

The  noise  of  the  explosion  and  the  flying  pieces  of  iron 
and  debris  through  the  air  attracted  the  attention  of  the 
villagers,  who  hastened  to  the  spot  and  helped  to  extricate 
the  poor  victim  in  time  for  him  to  receive  absolution  before 
he  expired.  Mother  Hardey 's  energy  and  management  were 
equal  to  the  exigencies  of  the  moment.  The  cold  was  in- 

18  273 


MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

tense,  and  the  repairs  required  in  the  engine  house  would 
necessitate  many  weeks,  so  she  ordered  from  the  city  a  suffi- 
cient number  of  stoves,  which  were  set  up  before  evening 
throughout  the  building.  The  pupils'  parents  had  such  con- 
fidence in  her  care  for  the  welfare  of  the  children  that  not 
one  was  withdrawn  from  the  school  while  the  privation  of 
steam  lasted. 

Some  months  after  she  had  experienced  this  dreadful 
shock  a  catastrophe  of  another  nature  occurred,  causing  for 
several  days  intense  anguish  as  to  the  fate  of  some  of  her 
daughters.  After  the  Civil  War,  the  convents  of  the  Sacred 
Heart  in  Louisiana  were  in  great  need  of  lay  Sisters,  as 
vocations  to  the  humble  life  of  Martha  were  very  rare, 
owing  to  the  fact  that  manual  work  had  been  done  almost 
exclusively  by  the  slaves.  Mother  Shannon,  in  her  distress, 
appealed  to  Mother  Hardey  for  help,  offering  to  pay  the 
traveling  expenses  of  as  many  Sisters  as  she  could  send  to 
Saint  Michael's.  Naturally  the  request  found  a  ready  re- 
sponse in  the  heart  of  Mother  Hardey,  who  set  about  select- 
ing generous  souls,  able  and  willing  to  devote  themselves 
wherever  obedience  ordained.  A  band  of  six  courageotts 
Sisters  sailed  for  New  Orleans  on  September  22,  1866,  full 
of  trust  in  Mary  Star  of  the  Sea,  who  did  not  fail  to  give 
them  a  striking  proof  of  her  protection.  In  the  middle  of 
the  night  they  were  suddenly  startled  by  the  noise  of  a 
frightful  crash  and  cries  of  terror  around  them.  The  steamer 
had  struck  a  rock  off  the  coast  of  North  Carolina,  and,  to 
add  to  the  danger,  a  terrific  wind  extinguished  all  the  lights 
on  board.  The  news  of  the  disaster  was  known  only  many 
days  after,  but  the  account  given  in  the  papers  was  harrow- 
ing in  the  extreme.  We  can  picture  Mother  Hardey's  an- 
guish for  the  fate  of  her  daughters,  as  the  report  announced 
that  only  a  few  lives  were  saved.  At  last,  after  vain  at- 
tempts to  get  reliable  information,  she  received  the  follow- 
ing letter  from  a  former  pupil  of  Manhattanville  residing  in 
Petersburg,  Virginia: 

274 


DEATH  OF  ARCHBISHOP  HUGHES 

"  DEAR  MADAME  : 

"  I  hasten  to  relieve  your  anxiety  in  regard  to  our  dear 
Sisters,  who  were  wrecked  off  the  coast  of  North  Carolina 
last  Sunday,  in  the  steamship  Evening  Star.  Three  days 
ago  as  I  was  sitting  down  to  my  dinner  Mr.  Young  handed 
me  the  newspaper,  in  which  I  read  these  lines :  '  Several 
Religious  of  the  Sacred  Heart  were  on  the  wrecked  ves- 
sel going  to  New  Orleans.  They  have  just  arrived  at 
the  Hotel  B.,  and  are  in  the  greatest  destitution.'  There 
was  no  appetite  for  dinner  that  day!  I  begged  Mr.  Young 
to  order  the  carriage  at  once,  and  we  both  set  out  imme- 
diately with  provisions,  clothing  and  money,  everything  that 
could  be  of  service  to  the  dear  sufferers.  It  was  a  real  dis- 
appointment to  find  on  our  arrival  that  we  had  been  fore- 
stalled by  Col.  Lee,  in  whom  the  dear  Sisters  found  a  most 
devoted  protector.  They  were  well  nigh  exhausted,  having 
had  neither  sleep  nor  sufficient  nourishment  for  six  days. 
The  steamer  had  left  New  York  with  three  hundred  pas- 
sengers on  Saturday  morning.  It  met  with  a  fearful  tempest 
on  Sunday.  Night  added  to  the  horrors  of  the  situation, 
for  the  wind  extinguished  the  lights,  leaving  all  in  the 
vessel  in  complete  darkness.  About  one  in  the  morn- 
ing there  was  a  terrible  crash  which  caused  indescrib- 
able terror  and  confusion  among  the  passengers.  In  a 
few  moments  the  steamer  lurched  to  one  side,  and  the  water 
rushed  through  the  open  holes,  for  the  ship  had  struck  a 
rock.  It  was  a  desert  spot  for  miles  around,  so  that  no 
help  could  be  expected  from  shore,  nothing  but  the  Provi- 
dence of  God  and  their  own  efforts  could  save  them  from  a 
watery  grave.  The  danger  was  imminent,  and  the  only  al- 
ternative left  was  to  climb  up  on  the  side  of  the  vessel 
which  was  out  of  the  water  and  wait  there  until  daybreak 
would  enable  them  to  get  into  the  life-boats. 

"  This  was  no  easy  task,  as  the  side  of  the  vessel  was 
very  high,  and,  in  order  to  reach  the  boats,  each  passenger 
had  to  be  tied  around  the  waist  and  let  down  the  length  of 

275 


MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

the  vessel  to  the  frail  bark  below.  The  sea  was  so  rough 
that  not  one  of  the  passengers  was  willing  to  take  the  risk. 
It  was  then  that  the  captain,  who  had  noticed  the  self-com- 
posure of  the  Sisters,  appealed  to  them  to  set  the  example 
of  courage.  The  youngest  Sister  asked  to  be  let  down  first, 
then  the  others  followed,  while  tears  and  cries  of  terror 
resounded  all  around  them.  Others  soon  followed  their  ex- 
ample, but  the  greater  number  fell  into  the  raging  waters 
and  were  drowned.  In  fact  out  of  the  three  hundred  on 
board  only  twenty-eight  were  saved.  From  the  life-boat 
the  Sisters  were  transferred  to  a  fishing  smack,  where 
they  remained  all  day  and  the  following  night  exposed  to 
the  winds  and  waves,  but  still  calm  and  courageous,  full  of 
trust  in  God's  fatherly  care,  and  by  their  heroic  example 
inspiring  their  own  spirit  of  peaceful  resignation  into  the 
hearts  of  those  around  them.  Many  of  the  rescued  passen- 
gers declared  they  owed  their  lives  to  the  example  of  the 
good  Sisters.  I  was  told  by  Sister  N.  that,  when  they  were 
leaving  the  life-boat,  some  one  put  into  her  hand  a  little 
traveling  bag,  saying,  '  here  is  some  medicine  for  you ! ' 
On  opening  the  bag  she  found  a  flask  of  brandy,  which  she 
was  happy  to  share  with  her  companions  in  the  fishing  boat. 
When  the  frail  bark  reached  the  shore,  the  inhabitants  treat- 
ed them  with  great  kindness,  but  they  had  three  days  more 
of  privations  of  all  sorts  before  they  reached  Petersburg. 
Here  they  received  every  attention.  The  parish  priest  con- 
ducted our  good  Sisters  to  the  church,  where  they  poured 
out  their  thanksgiving  to  God  for  their  miraculous  deliver- 
ance. I  wanted  to  bring  them  to  my  home,  but  they  in- 
sisted on  starting  by  rail  on  their  journey,  as  soon  as  they 
were  sufficiently  rested.  The  railroad  officials  gave  them 
free  tickets  to  New  Orleans,  and  I  feel  sure  they  will  want 
for  nothing  during  the  journey." 

To  the  credit  of  Colonel  Lee,  one  of  the  passengers  on 
board  the  Evening  Star,  be  it  said,  that  no  father  could 
have  been  more  solicitous  for  the  comfort  of  his  children 

276 


DEATH  OF  ARCHBISHOP  HUGHES 

than  he  was  for  these  Sisters.  He  insisted  upon  accompany- 
ing them  all  the  way  to  New  Orleans,  and  only  relinquished 
his  guardianship  when  half  way  en  route  he  met  a  priest 
who  promised  to  see  them  safely  to  their  destination. 
Mother  Hardey's  gratitude  for  the  preservation  of  her 
daughters  was  sincere  and  heartfelt,  and  their  noble  exam- 
ple amid  such  trying  scenes  was  a  source  of  great  consola- 
tion to  her.  It  was  gratifying  also  to  receive  these  details 
from  one  of  her  former  pupils,  whose  affection  and  devoted- 
ness  was  so  strikingly  manifested  to  those  whose  claim 
upon  her  charity  was  their  title  of  Religious  of  the  Sacred 
Heart. 

The  erection  of  the  new  convent  at  Kenwood,  necessi- 
tated Mother  Hardey's  frequent  visits  there  during  the 
Spring  and  Summer  of  1866.  The  Rathbone  mansion  had 
to  be  demolished  to  give  place  to  an  edifice  three  hundred 
and  thirty  feet  long,  with  three  wings,  each  one  hundred 
feet  in  length,  and  as  the  undertaking  was  an  important  one, 
especially  in  regard  to  the  transfer  of  the  noviceship,  Mother 
Goetz  thought  it  expedient  for  Mother  Hardey  to  take  up 
her  abode  there.  She  summoned  to  Paris  Madame  Bou- 
dreau,  the  Assistant  Superior  and  Mistress  General  of  Man- 
hattanville,  for  the  purpose  of  seeing  whether  she  could  re- 
place Mother  Hardey  as  superior,  and  some  weeks  later  she 
wrote  to  Mother  Hardey  as  follows : 

"PARIS,  July,   1866. 
"  MY  DEAR  MOTHER  : 

"  Would  it  be  in  accordance  with  your  views  to  name 
Mother  Boudreau  Superior  of  Manhattanville?  Our 
Mothers  here  favor  this  appointment,  but  they  desire  to 
know  your  opinion  before  coming  to  a  decision.  If  the 
choice  meets  with  your  approval,  you  can  thus,  in  addition 
to  your  office  as  vicar,  assume  the  charge  of  the  house  at 
Kenwood." 

After  dwelling  upon  the  wisdom  of  providing  a  home  fcr 

277 


MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

the  novices,  far  from  the  immediate  vicinity  of  the  great 
metropolis,  Mother  Goetz  adds: 

"  Our  Mothers  Assistant  appreciate,  as  I  do,  all  that  our 
convents  in  America  owe  to  you,  dear  Mother.  You  have 
consecrated  to  their  welfare  your  health,  your  strength, 
your  very  life,  establishing  wherever  you  have  been,  the 
true  spirit  of  the  Society.  Hence  you  have  a  right  to  our 
confidence  and  esteem.  Be  sure  that  you  may  always  count 
upon  my  sincere  affection." 

Some  weeks  later  Mother  Goetz  wrote  again: 

"  Yesterday  I  signed  and  handed  to  Mother  Boudreau 
her  letter  of  obedience.  I  am  convinced  that  she  will  do 
all  in  her  power  to  accomplish  successfully  the  duties  of 
her  position,  and  to  carry  on  the  good  work,  so  firmly  estab- 
lished by  you  at  Manhattanville." 

Mother  Hardey  was  then  to  leave  the  religious  family 
which  she  had  governed  for  over  a  quarter  of  a  century. 
Though  her  heart  suffered  at  the  prospect  of  separation, 
she  showed  no  sign  of  regret.  The  will  of  the  Superior  Gen- 
eral was  the  expression  of  the  will  of  God,  consequently 
her  will  also,  but  the  announcement  of  the  change  was  made 
known  to  the  community  only  on  the  return  of  Mother  Bou- 
dreau, who  was  immediately  installed  as  superior. 

When  Archbishop  McCloskey  was  notified  of  her  trans- 
fer to  Kenwood,  he  expressed  his  disapproval,  and  handed 
Mother  Hardey  a  letter  from  Mother  Barat  to  Archbishop 
Hughes,  promising  that  she  would  never  withdraw  Mother 
Hardey  from  Manhattanville.  The  letter  had  been  pre- 
served in  the  archives  of  the  Cathedral.  With  her  usual 
adherence  to  authority,  Mother  Hardey  answered,  "  Both 
the  archbishop  and  Mother  Barat  have  passed  away,  and 
the  promise  in  no  way  binds  Mother  Barat's  successor." 
The  archbishop  then  declared  that  he  would  solicit  a  sim- 
ilar promise  from  Mother  Goetz,  but  in  her  own  gentle,  per- 
suasive way,  Mother  Hardey  assured  his  Grace,  that  it  was 
a  happiness  for  her  to  give  this  proof  of  her  submission  to 

278 


DEATH  OF  ARCHBISHOP   HUGHES 

higher  authority,  and  that,  while  she  appreciated  the  arch- 
bishop's regard  for  herself  personally,  she  would  consider 
it  a  subject  for  lifelong  regret  were  his  influence  to  change 
the  orders  of  obedience.  Needless  to  add  that  she  succeeded 
in  reconciling  the  archbishop  to  her  departure.  To  her 
daughters  she  spoke  of  the  merit  of  obedience  and  the  price- 
less value  of  sacrifice.  After  the  opening  of  the  school  at 
Manhattanville  she  went  to  Kenwood  on  September  I4th, 
Feast  of  the  Exaltation  of  the  Holy  Cross.  She  apprised 
the  Mother  General  of  her  arrival  in  the  following  words: 
"  The  sacrifice  is  accomplished,  and,  although  bitter  to  the 
heart,  it  has  been  sweetened  by  the  thought  that  in  making 
it  I  have  rilled  an  important  rule.  How  grateful  I  am  to 
you  my  Very  Reverend  Mother  for  having  given  me  the 
opportunity  to  obey." 

If  Mother  Hardey  rejoiced  in  the  sacrifice  which  obedi- 
ence demanded,  she  was  also  happy  to  feel  the  privation  of 
holy  poverty  awaiting  her  in  her  new  home.  The  con- 
vent wing  was  not  completed  until  the  twelfth  of  January, 
1867,  and,  in  the  interval,  there  were  many  hardships  to 
endure.  She  refused  to  take  a  room  for  her  use,  sleeping  on 
a  cot  wherever  it  was  convenient  to  place  it,  and  occupying 
during  the  day  some  corner  where  she  would  not  incon- 
venience others,  always  carrying  with  her  from  place  to 
place  a  little  satchel  containing  her  correspondence.  She 
was  the  first  at  each  community  exercise,  and  the  first  to 
respond  to  every  call  for  help  in  the  domestic  employments. 
She  was  frequently  found  in  the  laundry,  helping  the  Sis- 
ters, and  she  often  joined  the  novices  occupied  on  the  lawn 
in  picking  hair  for  the  mattresses.  Her  presence  made 
their  work  a  joyous  pastime,  for,  on  these  occasions, 
she  was  truly  a  mother  in  the  midst  of  her  children.  The 
greater  part  of  her  time  was  given  to  the  inspection  of  the 
building,  and  the  cultivation  of  the  farm.  Passing  one  day 
where  the  workmen  were  taking  their  lunch,  she  noticed 
that  they  were  drinking  cold  coffee,  and  at  once  gave  or- 

279 


MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

ders,  that,  in  future,  their  cans  should  be  sent  to  the  kitchen. 
After  some  days  the  cook  complained  that  so  many  cans 
encumbered  the  range.  Mother  Hardey  gently  reproved 
her  by  saying,  "  Sister,  you  should  be  happy  to  be  incon- 
venienced in  order  to  serve  the  poor." 

Repeated  calls  to  the  parlor  found  her  always  ready  to 
receive  her  visitors,  whatever  their  station,  with  that  gra- 
cious courtesy  which  put  them  at  once  at  ease.  If  a  work- 
man, or  poor  person,  asked  to  see  her,  she  went  all  the  more 
promptly,  warning  the  portress,  "  never  to  keep  a  poor  per- 
son waiting,  for  with  them  time  is  money." 

It  grieved  her  to  see  the  children  of  the  neighborhood 
growing  up  without  the  benefit  of  religious  instruction, 
and  as  soon  as  possible  she  opened  a  free  school  for  them. 
One  of  the  novices  was  trained  to  take  charge  of  this  good 
work,  and  when  the  classes  were  formed  Mother  Hardey 
often  assisted  at  the  lessons,  examined  herself  the  writing 
books,  and  took  a  lively  interest  in  all  that  concerned  the 
children's  welfare.  Wishing  to  inspire  them  with  devotion 
to  the  Sacred  Heart  of  Jesus,  she  sought  to  make  the  first 
Friday  of  the  month  a  red  letter  day.  Nor  were  prayer  and 
instruction  the  only  feature  of  her  programme.  A  little 
feast  of  dainties  was  always  prepared  for  the  children 
before  they  returned  home.  Their  numbers  increased  so 
rapidly  that  after  a  few  years  a  fine  school  house  was 
built  for  their  accommodation  and  there  was  a  usual  at- 
tendance of  over  three  hundred  children.  She  also  or- 
ganized sodalities  for  both  young  girls  and  married  women. 
The  distance  from  Albany  seemed,  at  first,  an  obstacle  to 
the  success  of  the  work,  but  her  energy  surmounted  every 
difficulty.  The  Sodality  of  the  Blessed  Virgin  opened  with 
five  members;  at  the  time  of  her  death  it  numbered  more 
than  two  hundred. 

In  1867  Mother  Hardey  put  on  a  firmer  basis  another 
of  her  early  works.  As  the  children  in  the  parochial 
school  had  become  too  numerous  to  be  accommodated  in  the 

280 


DEATH  OF  ARCHBISHOP  HUGHES 

Seventeenth  Street  convent  building  in  New  York,  she  do- 
nated the  three  lots  facing  on  Eighteenth  Street  for  the  site 
of  a  suitable  school  building,  the  expenses  of  which  were  to 
be  defrayed  by  the  parish.  Later,  however,  she  was  obliged 
to  assume  the  entire  cost,  over  ten  thousand  dollars,  as  the 
Jesuit  Fathers  found  it  impossible  to  raise  the  money.  The 
letters  of  Rev.  Father  Fleck,  S.J.,  director  of  the  parish 
schools,  express  in  glowing  terms  his  gratitude  to  Mother 
Hardey,  whom  he  playfully  styles,  his  "  Fairy  Godmother," 
so  promptly  did  she  come  to  his  assistance  when  each  pay- 
ment came  due.  The  proceeds  of  a  concert  and  sundry  col- 
lections in  the  parish  were  appropriated  to  the  furnishing  of 
the  class  rooms  and  other  incidental  expenses.  The  con- 
tinued prosperity  of  this  school  was  a  life-long  consolation 
to  Mother  Hardey. 

On  the  nineteenth  of  May,  1867,  Right  Rev.  Bishop  Con- 
roy  laid  the  corner  stone  of  the  Kenwood  Chapel.  Mother 
Hardey  watched  over  the  progress  of  the  building  with  the 
deepest  interest,  happy  in  being  able  to  provide  a  fitting 
sanctuary  for  the  King  of  Kings.  Another  ceremony  took 
place  on  the  eighth  of  September,  the  blessing  of  a  chime 
of  bells.  When  the  news  of  this  event  reached  Paris, 
Mother  Goetz  wrote,  that  the  introduction  of  chimes  into 
a  convent  of  the  Sacred  Heart,  seemed  to  her  contrary  to 
the  spirit  of  poverty,  which  had  been  handed  down  by  the 
Mother  Foundress.  Mother  Hardey,  submissive  as  ever  to 
the  voice  of  authority,  wrote  immediately  to  the  Mother 
General : 

"  I  return  you  heartfelt  thanks,  my  Very  Reverend 
Mother,  for  your  charitable  warning.  It  is  true,  that  the 
pupils  of  Manhattanville  made  a  gift  to  this  house  of  four 
bells,  destined  for  the  church,  the  community,  the  school 
and  the  clock.  They  were  made  according  to  notes  which 
form  a  chime,  but  they  have  not  been  hung  for  that  pur- 
pose, nor  will  they  ever  be  used  for  chimes,  now  that  you 
have  had  the  goodness  to  let  me  see  how  contrary  it  would 

281 


MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

be  to  our  spirit  of  poverty ;  and,  if  you  prefer  that  we  should 
not  apply  them  to  the  purposes  for  which  they  are  des- 
tined, they  shall  be  removed  at  once.  I  cannot  tell  you,  my 
Very  Reverend  Mother,  how  grateful  I  am  for  your  kind 
warning,  and  I  beg  you  will  always  be  equally  frank  with 
me  in  like  circumstances." 

A  few  years  later  Mother  Hardey  gave  three  of  the  bells 
to  the  Church  of  St.  Anne,  in  Albany.  The  Kenwood  com- 
munity never  knew  why  the  chimes  were  not  used.  We 
may  well  believe  that  the  obedience  of  a  faithful,  docile 
heart,  made  sweeter  music  in  the  ear  of  God,  than  the 
melody  of  joyous  bells. 


282 


CHAPTER   XXII. 

DIFFICULTIES  IN  HAVANA — DEATH  OF  MOTHER  TRINCANO — 
MOTHER  HARDEY  VISITS  THE  POTTOWATOMIE  MIS- 
SIONS— ATTENDS    RETREAT    OF    SUPERIORS 
IN    PARIS — 1867-1869. 

On  taking  possession  of  the  See  of  Havana,  in  1865, 
Bishop  Martinez  assumed  an  unfriendly  attitude  towards 
the  Religious  of  the  Sacred  Heart.  His  Lordship,  though 
zealous  and  saintly,  was  devoted  to  Spain  and  to  Spanish 
customs,  and  he  looked  with  suspicion  on  a  religious  com- 
munity introduced  from  the  United  States,  and  governed  by 
a  superior  over  whom  he  had  no  control.  Moreover,  he 
found  that  the  "  Royal  Order  "  of  approbation  had  not  been 
obtained  from  Spain,  and  hence  the  convents  were  not 
canonically  established.  Neither  the  Captain  General 
Concha,  nor  the  former  bishop,  had  deemed  this  formality 
necessary,  but  the  new  bishop,  imbued  with  Spanish  ideas 
of  Monasticism,  looked  upon  the  Religious  of  the  Sacred 
Heart  as  "  Fillibusters,"  and  began  at  once  to  denounce 
them  in  public  and  in  private.  He  set  at  naught  certain  privi- 
leges guaranteed  to  the  Society  by  the  Holy  See,  censured 
the  form  of  cloister  observed,  objected  to  candidates  for  the 
Congregation  making  their  novitiate  outside  of  his  diocese, 
and  finally  withdrew  the  English  speaking  Jesuit  confessor, 
and  appointed  a  Capuchin  father  who  could  not  understand 
a  word  of  English.  The  consequence  was  that  for  several 
months,  five  of  the  religious  were  deprived  of  the  Sacra- 
ments, being  unable  to  make  their  confession  in  Spanish. 
Among  these  was  a  Sister  in  the  last  stages  of  consumption. 
At  the  suggestion  of  Mother  Hardey,  Madame  d'Abreu,  the 
Superior,  wrote  the  following  urgent  appeal  to  the  bishop: 

"  I  cannot  express  to  your  Lordship  how  intense  is  my 
grief,  when  these  souls,  bathed  in  tears  and  crushed  with 

283 


MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

sorrow,  speak  to  me  of  their  anguish.  Having  left  home 
and  country  in  obedience  to  the  call  of  God,  they  now  find 
themselves  denied  even  the  means  of  salvation.  Great  was 
my  astonishment  to  learn  from  our  confessor  that  there 
was  no  remedy ;  we  have  only  to  obey,  for  he  does  not  be- 
lieve your  Lordship  will  pay  any  attention  to  my  petition. 
Moreover,  he  tells  me  that  you  will  not  return  home  before 
Holy  Week.  Are  these  religious  to  be  deprived  of  Confes- 
sion and  Communion  until  then?  And  must  our  dying  Sis- 
ter appear  before  God,  without  the  grace  of  the  Last  Sacra- 
ments, so  necessary  at  such  a  moment?  I  cannot  believe 
that  your  Lordship  will  turn  a  deaf  ear  to  my  appeal,  and 
I  feel  confident  you  will  authorize  an  English  speaking 
priest  to  minister  to  the  needs  of  these  five  religious.  Hop- 
ing to  receive  a  favorable  reply,  I  remain,  with  profound 
respect  and  filial  submission, 

"  Yours,  etc., 

"  ROSA  D'ABREU,  R.S.C.J." 

The  bishop  did  not  deign  to  reply  to  the  appeal,  and  as 
soon  as  Mother  Hardey  learned  that  Sister  Anne  was  in  a 
dying  condition,  she  started  immediately  for  Havana,  hop- 
ing she  might  succeed  in  propitiating  his  Lordship.  She 
sailed  so  promptly  that  there  was  no  time  to  notify  the  com- 
munity of  her  coming,  and  their  surprise  and  joy  may  be  well 
imagined  when  she  appeared  at  the  door  of  the  convent. 
Her  first  question  was,  "  How  is  Sister  Anne?  "  "  She  left 
us  for  heaven  this  morning,"  answered  the  Superior.  An 
•expression  of  anguish  passed  over  Mother  Hardey's  face, 
and  she  asked  to  be  taken  immediately  to  the  dead  Sister. 
There  she  knelt  in  fervent  prayer,  her  tears  coursing  down 
her  cheeks,  and  her  whole  demeanor  betokening  the  most 
intense  grief. 

"  This  was  indeed  a  memorable  visit,"  writes  one  of  her 
daughters.  "  Our  hearts  were  divided  between  joy  and 
sorrow,  joy  to  have  our  Mother  with  us,  and  sorrow  because 

284 


DIFFICULTIES  IN  HAVANA 

of  the  painful  circumstances  which  brought  her.  Deter- 
mined to  do  all  she  could  for  us,  our  Mother  solicited  the 
favor  of  a  visit  from  the  bishop.  It  was  flatly  refused. 
Through  the  intervention  of  mutual  friends,  she  negotiated 
for  an  audience  at  the  episcopal  palace,  but  when  she  pre- 
sented herself  at  the  appointed  hour,  she  was  informed  that 
his  Lordship  had  left  the  city,  as  he  was  determined  not  to 
meet  her.  That  evening  at  recreation,  we  told  our  Mother 
we  had  prayed  fervently  for  the  success  of  her  visit.  With 
a  peculiar  smile  she  thanked  us,  adding,  '  You  obtained  for 
me  a  great  grace/  then  pausing  a  moment,  she  said,  '  You 
obtained  for  me  a  humiliation,  and  a  humiliation  is  always 
a  great  grace ! ' ' 

Having  learned  that  his  Lordship  was  going  to  Sancto 
Spiritu,  she  left  immediately  in  the  hope  of  meeting  him 
there.  To  the  bishop's  dismay  she  was  the  first  to  greet 
him  on  his  arrival  at  the  convent.  He  seemed  much  im- 
pressed by  her  gracious  and  humble  acceptance  of  his 
wishes  in  regard  to  that  house,  and  before  his  departure,  he 
restored  nearly  all  the  privileges  he  had  withdrawn  from 
that  family,  but  he  was  inflexible  in  regard  to  the  Havana 
house.  Mother  Hardey  was  forced  to  return  to  New  York, 
feeling  that  in  part  her  mission  to  Cuba  had  been  a  failure. 
She  made  known  the  result  to  the  Superior  General  and 
her  Council,  who  decided  to  refer  the  matter  to  Rome,  with 
a  request  for  permission  to  suppress  the  Cuban  houses. 
His  Eminence,  Cardinal  Bofondi,  Protector  of  the  Society 
of  the  Sacred  Heart,  sent  the  following  reply  to  Madame 
Lehon,  one  of  the  Assistants  General: 

"  VERY  REV.  MOTHER  ASSISTANT  GENERAL  : 

"  The  Holy  Father,  having  been  solicited  to  authorize 
the  suppression  of  the  two  houses  which  your  Society  has 
in  Cuba,  does  not  favor  this  measure,  as  it  would  deprive 
that  country  of  the  great  spiritual  good  which  is  being  ac- 
complished there,  as  elsewhere,  by  the  religious  of  your 

285 


MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

Institute.  An  academy,  which  according  to  the  bishop's 
own  letter  contains  more  than  one  hundred  and  fifty  pupils, 
must  enjoy  the  esteem  and  confidence  of  the  public,  and 
thereby  refutes  most  triumphantly  certain  assertions  made 
by  Monseigneur  in  his  famous  letter.  His  Holiness  has  ex- 
pressed himself  in  the  most  benevolent  manner  in  regaid 
to  the  Institute  of  the  Sacred  Heart.  He  sympathizes  with 
the  religious  who  must  remain  in  Havana,  but  he  reminds 
them  that,  in  order  to  acquire  any  merit,  we  must  be  dis- 
posed to  suffer  something  for  it.  In  the  meantime,  the 
Sacred  Congregation  of  Bishops  and  Regulars  will  write 
again  to  his  Lordship,  the  bishop,  requesting  him,  in  the 
name  of  the  Holy  Father,  to  have  all  possible  regard  for  the 
welfare  of  the  religious,  and  to  procure  for  them  the  means 
of  accomplishing  what  is  prescribed  in  their  Constitutions, 
which  have  been  approved  by  the  Holy  See,  and  also  of 
conforming  to  the  particular  usages  established.  The  Holy 
Father  trusts  that  the  religious,  on  their  side,  will  strive 
to  correspond  to  the  wishes  of  the  bishop  in  such  matters 
as  do  not  affect  the  fundamental  points  proper  to  the  whole 
Institute. 

"  I  cannot  say  whether  the  letter  to  the  bishop  and  the 
wishes  of  his  Holiness  will  have  the  desired  effect.  How- 
ever it  may  turn,  a  new  attempt  will  have  been  made,  and, 
in  accordance  with  the  result  obtained,  we  shall  with  greater 
certainty  come  to  a  definite  decision. 

"  I  request  your  maternity  to  keep  me  informed  of  all 
that  may  take  place,  in  order  that  I  may  be  prepared  to 
answer  the  questions  that  may  be  addressed  to  me.  Beg- 
ging you  to  present  my  respects  to  the  Very  Reverend 
Mother  General  and  to  accept  for  yourself  the  assurance  of 
my  profound  esteem  and  veneration,  I  remain,  etc., 

"J.  CARDINAL  BOFONDI." 

Mother  Goetz  bowed  before  the  decision  of  the  Holy 
See.  She  requested  Mother  Hardey  to  make  a  second  at- 

286 


DIFFICULTIES  IN  HAVANA 

tempt  at  reconciliation  with  the  bishop.  "  Humble  your- 
self," she  wrote,  "  throw  yourself  at  the  feet  of  his  Lord- 
ship, and  beg  pardon  for  the  pain  we  have  caused  him,  as- 
suring him  that  we  have  no  other  desire  than  to  be  his  most 
humble  and  dutiful  daughters." 

Mother  Hardey  set  out  again  for  Havana,  on  the  third 
of  February,  1868.  This  time  the  bishop  consented  to  an 
interview.  At  first,  he  was  cold  and  uncompromising,  b'lt 
the  humble  readiness  with  which  Mother  Hardey  acknowl- 
edged his  authority  and  yielded  to  his  demands,  com- 
pletely disarmed  him,  and  he  granted  many  concessions 
before  she  left.  Towards  the  close  of  the  year  1868  she 
again  visited  Cuba.  This  time  it  was  her  painful  duty  to 
suppress  the  house  in  Sancto  Spiritu.  War  with  Spain  had 
broken  out,  and  the  hostile  armies  stood  face  to  face, 
almost  at  the  threshold  of  the  convent.  There  was  little 
hope  for  the  future  of  the  school,  as  the  principal  families 
fled  from  the  city.  But  although  it  only  lasted  five  years, 
this  interesting  mission  was  fruitful  in  blessings  to  the  poor 
especially,  and  to  the  many  souls  who  were  led  to  a  holier 
life.  There  were  several  vocations  to  the  Society  from 
among  the  pupils. 

On  account  of  his  political  views,  Monseigneur  Martinez 
was  obliged  to  return  to  Spain.  Before  his  departure,  he 
manifested  very  friendly  sentiments  towards  the  religious 
of  the  Havana  convent  and,  in  his  letters  from  Spain,  he 
frequently  sent  a  special  blessing  to  his  "  daughters  of  the 
Sacred  Heart."  The  days  of  tribulation  had  passed,  and  the 
gain  to  Mother  Hardey  and  her  daughters  was  noted  in  the 
eternal  records  of  God. 

During  the  summer  of  1867,  Mother  Hardey  went  to 
Canada  to  assist  at  the  ceremony  of  the  dedication  of  the 
new  church  of  the  Sault-au-Recollet.  The  happiness  of 
meeting  again  her  former  daughters  was  marred  by  the 
state  of  health  in  which  she  found  Mother  Trincano.  She 
obtained  permission  to  remove  the  invalid  to  Kenwood,  and 

287 


MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

left  nothing  undone  to  prolong  so  useful  a  life.  In  a  few 
weeks  Mother  Trincano  recovered  sufficiently  to  be  able 
to  write  to  her  family  at  "  the  Sault."  In  one  of  her  letters 
she  says :  "  I  take  daily  walks  in  the  garden  of  abandon- 
ment to  the  will  of  God,  and  at  times  I  weave  together 
again  the  threads  of  my  wasted  years.  If  God  gives  me 
strength  to  return  to  my  dear  family,  I  shall  strive  to  repair 
the  past,  by  an  increase  of  fidelity  to  our  holy  rules,  and  of 
devotedness  to  the  welfare  of  your  souls." 

The  slight  relief  in  her  sufferings  was,  however,  only 
temporary.  Her  infirmities  increased  with  the  approach  of 
winter,  and  Mother  Hardey  had  the  sorrow  of  realizing 
that  her  beloved  friend  was  soon  to  hear  the  supreme 
"  Veni."  On  the  25th  of  April,  1868,  Mother  Trincano  re- 
turned to  "  the  Sault  "  and  these  devoted  friends  parted  to 
meet  again  only  in  another  world. 

We  have  already  mentioned  in  previous  chapters  what 
efficient  aid  Mother  Trincano  had  rendered  to  Mother  Har- 
dey, especially  in  the  training  of  the  novices  and  probation- 
ists,  and  in  the  organizing  of  foundations.  Her  brilliant 
talents  enabled  her  to  exercise  an  extraordinary  influence 
for  good,  but  it  was  chiefly  by  the  practice  of  her  humble 
virtues,  that  her  life  was  a  shining  light  to  the  souls  whom 
she  led  on  to  perfection.  From  the  year  1840,  as  we  learn  from 
"  Notes  of  her  retreats,"  abandonment  to  the  will  of  God 
was  the  spirit  that  characterized  her  entire  life.  In  her  own 
words,  "  Trifling  difficulties  as  well  as  great  trials  are  like 
visiting  cards  upon  which  is  written  the  name  of  Jesus." 
Her  life  was  a  continual  war  against  self;  but  even  to  the 
end,  God  left  enough  of  nature  in  her  for  all  to  recognize 
the  triumph  of  grace  in  her  soul.  Her  spirit  of  mortification 
led  her  to  deny  herself  the  least  enjoyment,  and  to  practice 
the  most  severe  penances.  These  were  multiplied  even  to  the 
shedding  of  blood,  during  the  seasons  of  carnival,  Lent  and 
spiritual  retreats.  After  the  example  of  her  patroness,  St. 
Teresa,  she  had  made  a  vow  "  to  do  always  what  was  most 

288 


DIFFICULTIES  IN  HAVANA 

perfect."  Its  faithful  observance  was  manifested  in  her 
every  action.  She  often  repeated  to  her  daughters,  "  Our 
love  for  our  Rule  should  be  so  grounded  in  us,  that  were  the 
Society  suppressed,  each  one  should  be  able  to  say,  I  am  the 
Society,  for  the  Rules  and  Constitutions  are  so  engraven  in 
my  heart,  that  they  shall  live  there  forever." 

Mother  Trincano's  sanctity  was  held  in  high  repute, 
even  beyond  the  circle  of  her  own  congregation.  Seculars 
regarded  her  as  a  woman  filled  with  the  Spirit  of  God,  and 
few  could  resist  the  power  of  her  eloquence,  or  the  influence 
of  her  holy  example.  Bishop  Bourget  once  playfully  re- 
marked to  her :  "  Why,  Mother,  they  say  you  are  a  born 
orator !  "  With  a  glowing  countenance  she  eagerly,  but 
modestly,  replied,  "  Ah !  Monseigneur,  a  religious  could  not 
be  otherwise  than  eloquent,  when  she  speaks  of  God." 
After  her  return  to  "  the  Sault "  she  redoubled  her  zeal  for 
the  perfection  of  her  daughters.  The  eve  of  the  Feast  of 
the  Sacred  Heart,  she  was  helped  to  the  door  of  her  room 
to  give  her  blessing  to  the  community  assembled  outside. 
Supported  by  two  religious,  she  addressed  them  the  follow- 
ing words :  "  This  is  a  fitting  time  to  apply  to  the  Society 
the  text,  '  Israel  arose  as  one  man,'  since  to-morrow  all 
hearts,  united  in  the  Heart  of  Jesus,  will  rise  to  proclaim 
their  fidelity  to  their  Divine  Spouse.  Renewed  in  His  Spirih, 
all  will  set  out  once  more  to  win  souls  to  His  love  and 
service.  Oh,  yes!  let  us  labor  at  the  expense  of  health,  of 
earthly  joys,  of  our  very  life — let  us  sacrifice  to  this  dear 
work  our  inclinations,  our  faculties,  our  entire  being." 

In  the  month  of  September  it  was  judged  prudent  for 
Mother  Trincano  to  receive  Extreme  Unction.  During  the 
touching  ceremony,  her  soul  was  flooded  with  joy  and  con- 
solation. Before  the  community  withdrew  from  the  room, 
she  said  to  them :  "  Nothing  will  be  hard  for  you,  if  you 
look  upon  your  crucified  Spouse  fastened  to  the  cross  for 
love  of  you.  Let  your  crucifix  be  the  sacred  volume,  in 
which  you  will  study  the  price  of  souls,  and  having  lcarne-1 

19  289 


MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

your  lesson  well,  go  and  devote  yourselves  to  their  salva- 
tion, imitating  the  life  of  sacrifice  of  those  who  have  pre- 
ceded you  in  the  sublime  career." 

Death  came  in  the  early  dawn  of  the  twelfth  of  No- 
vember. After  receiving  the  last  indulgence,  the  dying 
mother  gathered  up  all  her  strength,  to  express  once  more 
to  her  devoted  daughters,  the  sentiments  of  her  grateful 
heart.  "  In  heaven,"  she  said,  "  if  God  be  merciful  to  me, 
I  will  think  of  you,  watch  over  you,  and  plead  for  you,  with 
a  mother's  tender  love."  Her  face  became  radiant  and  she 
seemed  to  be  contemplating  some  ravishing  spectacle,  as 
with  the  words,  "  Father,  into  Thy  hands  I  commend  my 
spirit,"  she  yielded  up  her  soul  to  God. 

When  the  telegram  announcing  her  death  was  received, 
Mother  Hardey  went  at  once  before  the  Tabernacle  to  give 
vent  to  her  grief  for  the  loss  of  her  loyal  friend  and  coun- 
sellor during  their  close  intimacy  of  over  twenty  years.  On 
leaving  the  chapel  she  assembled  the  community,  and  in 
touching  words  requested  their  prayers  for  the  dear  de- 
parted, who  had  so  many  claims  upon  their  affection  and 
gratitude. 

We  have  seen  in  one  of  Mother  Hardey's  early  letters 
to  Mother  Barat,  in  1835,  how  earnestly  she  pleaded  for  the 
foundation  solicited  by  Bishop  Purcell  for  Cincinnati.  As 
Bishop  Dubois  had  made  a  similar  application  for  New 
York,  previous  to  this,  that  diocese  received  preference. 
The  Sisters  of  Notre  Dame  from  Namur  were  introduced 
into  the  Diocese  of  Cincinnati,  in  July,  1840,  by  Bishop 
Purcell,  and  the  daughters  of  Blessed  Julia  Billiart,  who 
have  exercised  a  most  successful  apostolate  in  the  education 
of  young  girls  have  been  especially  successful  there.  Al- 
though from  time  to  time  the  question  of  establishing  a 
convent  of  the  Sacred  Heart  in  the  diocese  was  agitated,  it 
was  only  in  the  year  1869  that  the  project  was  seriously  con- 
sidered. Mother  Hardey  received  the  following  letter  on 
the  subject  from  the  well-known  convert,  Mrs.  Sarah 

290 


DIFFICULTIES  IN  HAVANA 

Peter,  whose  zeal  in  behalf  of  the  spread  of  Catholicity  in 
Ohio  has  left  lasting  monuments  to  her  memory : 

"  CINCINNATI,  April  22,  1869. 
"  MY  DEAR  MADAME  HARDEY  : 

"  It  is  so  long  since  I  have  seen  you  that  I  fear  I  have 
become  almost  a  stranger;  still  I  am  sure  you  have  not  for- 
gotten one  who  has  so  long  loved  you  and  so  well.  You 
would  perhaps  laugh,  if  you  were  to  know  how  many  ef- 
forts I  continue  to  make  to  bring  your  dear  congregation 
and  yourself  also  into  our  neighborhood.  I  have  only  de- 
sisted when  my  attempts  seemed  hopeless.  Yet  now,  just 
now,  for  it  is  not  a  half  hour  since  I  left  the  archbishop,  all 
my  hopes  are  renewed.  Without  any  hint  from  me,  or 
even  the  thought  of  it,  his  Grace  mentioned  that  a  magnifi- 
cent property,  beautifully  situated,  two  or  three  miles  out 
of  the  city,  had  been  offered  him  and  he  thought  it  would 
be  altogether  suitable  for  a  convent  of  the  Sacred  Heart, 
and  to  my  surprise  he  requested  me  to  write  to  you  about  it, 
saying  that  it  is  his  wish  to  have  your  Institute  here,  for 
we  have  room  enough  for  all !  " 

The  good  lady  then  gives  details  of  the  property  and  en- 
larges upon  the  success  to  be  expected  and  the  apostola^e 
awaiting  the  religious  of  the  Sacred  Heart  in  Cincinnati : 
"  How  many  years  I  have  longed  for  your  coming !  How 
much  it  is  to  be  regretted  that  there  is  no  house  of  your 
Society  from  St.  Louis  to  Philadelphia !  "  A  little  later  she 
wrote  again :  "  It  is  delightful  to  me  to  find  the  archbishop 
and  Father  Purcell  so  very  zealous  for  your  coming.  I  have 
never  known  either  of  them  to  express  so  strong  a  desire 
for  any  other  religious  order.  Father  Hill,  the  Rector  of 
the  Jesuits,  has  just  been  here  to  inquire  about  your  move- 
ments, and  there  seems  to  be  a  general  awakening  of  good 
wishes  for  your  coming." 

About  the  time  these  letters  were  received,  Mother  Hai- 
dey  was  requested  by  the  Mother  General  to  visit  the  Indian 

291 


Mission  of  the  Pottowatomies  in  Kansas,  with  a  view  to  its 
suppression.  She  was  also  to  examine  certain  financial  af- 
fairs of  the  convent  in  St.  Louis,  and  to  contribute  aid,  if 
possible,  towards  the  erection  of  the  new  convent  at  Mary- 
ville.  In  answer  to  this  appeal,  she  suspended  at  once  the 
building  of  one  of  the  wings  at  Kenwood,  and  gave  the 
funds  destined  for  it  to  the  western  vicariate.  On  her  way 
to  St.  Louis  she  stopped  in  Cincinnati,  to  confer  with  Arch- 
bishop Purcell  on  the  proposed  foundation,  promising  to 
refer  the  matter  to  the  Mother  General.  After  a  brief  stay 
at  the  convent  in  St.  Louis,  she  proceeded  to  Saint  Mary's, 
Kansas.  We  give  an  account  of  this  interesting  visit  from 
a  letter  written  by  her  secretary: 

"  Here  we  are  in  Kansas,  at  the  Mission  of  the  Pottowa- 
tomies. We  arrived  at  2  P.  M.  yesterday,  and  were  cor- 
dially welcomed  by  the  Rector  of  the  Jesuits,  who  con- 
ducted us  through  his  garden  to  the  convent  grounds,  where 
Mother  Milmoe  and  the  community  were  awaiting  us.  The 
convent,  a  frame  building  in  the  rear  of  the  Jesuit  College, 
might  be  taken  for  one  of  the  out-houses.  There  is  no 
plastering  in  any  part  of  the  house,  the  ceilings  and  walls 
are  of  whitewashed  muslin.  In  the  parlor  and  next  best 
room  the  muslin  is  covered  with  colored  paper,  and  the  floor 
is  of  rough  planks.  After  taking  dinner,  we  went  to  the 
church,  which  is  about  one  hundred  and  fifty  feet  distant, 
to  make  our  adoration.  The  interior  is  rather  pretty,  con- 
sidering the  place.  There  are  two  side  chapels,  one  for 
the  college  boys,  the  other  for  the  Sacred  Heart  Community 
and  pupils.  After  our  devotions  Mother  Galwey  took  us 
through  the  grounds.  Our  first  visit  was  to  the  barnyard, 
where  we  saw  fifty  cows  and  at  least  two  dozen  calves.  I 
asked  the  Sister  how  many  cows  the  Fathers  had.  '  Why,' 
she  answered,  '  these  are  the  Fathers'  cows  and  ours  also/ 
It  seems  that  everything  here  is  common  property.  We 
visited  the  class  rooms,  where  we  found  about  sixty 
girls  of  every  hue  and  grade,  from  the  full-blooded  Indian 

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DIFFICULTIES  IN  HAVANA 

up  to  whites.  Near  the  convent  are  two  little  huts,  I  cannot 
give  them  any  other  name.  In  one  we  found  the  kitchen 
and  the  pupils'  refectory.  Of  course,  I  did  not  expect  to 
find  white  tablecloths  and  napkins,  but  the  tin  plate  and 
cup,  iron  spoon,  fork  and  knife  set  at  each  place,  surprised 
me  not  a  little.  In  the  second  hut  was  the  refectory  of  the 
community.  The  room  was  rather  miserable  looking,  but 
we  had  white  stoneware  instead  of  tin,  and  everything 
looked  neat  and  clean.  The  next  apartment  was  the  com- 
munity dormitory,  containing  four  beds.  In  the  middle  of 
the  room  is  a  little  altar,  on  which  is  a  statute  of  the  Blessed 
Virgin,  resembling  a  squaw,  and  pasted  on  the  wall  are 
four  angels  in  gilt  paper  and  cut  in  most  fantastic  shapes. 
We  named  it  the  '  Chapel  of  the  Angels/  After  meals  the 
community  go  there  for  the  accustomed  visit,  the  church 
being  too  distant,  especially  in  bad  weather. 

"  The  next  room,  in  the  same  cabin,  is  the  pupils'  in- 
firmary, in  which  there  are  two  beds,  and  here  seven  or 
eight  '  Indian  ladies '  sometimes  lodge,  the  extra  number 
reposing  on  the  floor.  After  supper  we  took  a  walk  to  the 
wash-house,  about  half  a  mile  distant,  near  the  river,  and 
on  returning  we  had  a  view  of  the  tents  in  which  the  Indians 
were  encamped  on  the  brow  of  the  hill,  having  come  many 
miles  to  assist  at  the  Mass  on  Sunday.  There  are  five  choir 
religious  and  seven  sisters  in  the  community.  Among  them 
Reverend  Mother  was  delighted  to  find  Sister  Mary  Lay- 
ton,  who  was  a  Grand  Coteau  when  she  was  a  pupil  there. 
In  fact,  the  Sister  went  from  Saint  Louis  with  Mother  Aude 
to  make  the  foundation,  so  you  can  imagine  her  joy  in  meet- 
ing Reverend  Mother  again. 

"  On  Sunday  morning,  at  half  past  five,  we  went  to  the 
church,  where  we  heard  two  Masses.  The  community  and 
pupils  were  present  at  the  second,  and  quite  a  congregation 
was  in  the  church,  the  men  on  one  side,  the  women  on  the 
other.  We  had  singing  during  Mass,  even  while  Holy  Com- 
munion was  being  given,  and  as  soon  as  the  Mass  ceased, 

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MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

two  or  three  babies  struck  up  a  chorus,  which,  strange  to 
say,  they  stopped  at  the  first  sound  of  the  organ.  Two  In- 
dian men  sang  canticles  in  their  native  tongue.  It  was 
really  very  devotional.  At  this  Mass,  we  communicated. 
The  Communion  railing  is  divided  into  two  parts,  on  one 
side  of  which  the  men  communicate,  on  the  other  side  the 
women.  After  Mass,  the  priest  read  points  of  meditation 
for  the  month  of  May,  and  concluded  with  a  nice  little  in- 
struction on  the  Blessed  Virgin.  The  Sacred  Heart  pupils 
were  dressed  in  calicoes  and  muslins  of  every  color.  Their 
only  uniform  consists  of  pink  muslin  sunbonnets  and  shoes, 
for  you  must  know  the  young  Indian  maidens  go  barefoot 
on  week  days." 

Having  made  herself  thoroughly  acquainted  with  the 
resources  and  necessities  of  the  mission,  Mother  Hardey  de- 
cided upon  plans  for  the  erection  of  a  new  convent,  which 
was  to  serve  as  a  boarding  school  for  the  daughters  of  the 
white  settlers,  while  a  section  was  to  be  appropriated  to  the 
use  of  the  day  pupils,  the  half  civilized  Indian  girls  living  in 
the  neighborhood.  A  question  of  a  rather  delicate  nature 
now  presented  itself  for  solution.  The  property  up  to  this 
time  had  been  held  as  a  joint  possession  by  the  Jesuits  and 
the  Religious  of  the  Sacred  Heart,  but  Mother  Hardey 
deemed  it  expedient  to  divide  the  land  as  well  as  the 
pecuniary  resources  of  the  mission.  The  settlement  was 
made  easy  by  the  disinterestedness  of  all  parties  concerned. 
After  the  deeds  were  drawn  up,  they  were  taken  to  Leaven- 
worth  and  signed  at  the  episcopal  residence  in  presence  of 
Bishop  Miege,  S.J.  Years  after,  in  alluding  to  this  trans- 
action, this  prelate  expressed  his  esteem  and  admiration  for 
Mother  Hardey,  whose  business  capacity  amazed  him ;  but 
more  than  all  was  he  impressed  by  her  deep  religious  vir- 
tues, and  that  just  appreciation  of  things  temporal  and 
eternal,  which  characterized  all  her  dealings  with  other?. 
"  To  my  mind,"  he  said,  "  she  is  a  finished  type  of  a  true 
Religious  of  the  Sacred  Heart." 

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DIFFICULTIES  IN  HAVANA 

Mother  Hardey's  interest  in  the  welfare  of  the  Western 
houses  was  not  confined  to  this  visit.  After  her  return  to 
Kenwood,  she  continued  to  send  help  and  advice  when 
solicited,  as  we  learn  from  the  letters  of  the  religious 
charged  with  the  superintendence1  of  the  new  buildings  at 
Maryville.  ''Had  you  not  come  to  our  assistance,  dear 
Reverend  Mother,  by  sending  us  the  five  thousand  dollars, 
I  know  not  what  we  should  have  done.  Our  Mother  Gen- 
eral told  me  in  her  last  letter  that  all  her  hopes  for  Mary- 
ville rest  upon  you.  I,  also,  trust  to  your  charity,  for,  as 
you  know,  we  have  no  resources  in  this  vicariate." 

Some  months  later  this  same  religious  writes :  "  Permit 
me  to  offer  my  heartfelt  thanks  for  the  money  you  have  so 
generously  sent  us.  Our  Divine  Master  and  our  Mother 
General  know  how  I  long  to  prove  to  you  my  filial  and  re- 
ligious gratitude.  I  beg  Our  Lord  to  reward  you  a  hundred- 
fold for  all  you  have  done  for  Maryville,  and  I  trust  that  all 
who  dwell  in  this  house  will  remember  the  debt  of  grati- 
tude they  owe  you  for  helping  to  build  their  beautiful  home." 

On  June  23,  1869,  Mother  Hardey,  accompanied  by  her 
secretary  and  Reverend  Mother  Cornelis,  the  new  Vicar  of 
Canada,  sailed  for  France  to  attend  a  spiritual  retreat  for 
Superiors  at  the  Mother  House  in  Paris.  The  voyage  was 
very  stormy,  the  Cuba  being  at  the  mercy  of  the  winds 
and  waves  for  fifty-two  consecutive  hours.  Mother  Cornelis 
was  so  very  ill  the  party  was  obliged  to  land  at  Queenstown. 
They  proceeded  to  Dublin  and  were  cordially  welcomed  at 
the  convent  of  Mount  Anville,  where  they  remained  until 
the  invalid  had  recovered  sufficiently  to  continue  their  jour- 
ney. Mother  Hardey  marked  her  visit  by  the  gift  of  a 
sewing  machine,  and  the  promise  of  sending  a  Sister  to  show 
them  how  to  use  it. 

The  retreat  at  the  mother-house  was  given  by  Rev. 
Father  Olivaint,  S.J.,  the  future  "  martyr  of  the  Commune." 
It  was  a  period  of  rest  and  signal  graces  for  Mother  Hardey, 
and  the  prelude  of  a  great  sacrifice  for  herself  and  her 

295 


MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

American  daughters.  Mother  Goetz  made  known  to  her  the 
project  she  entertained  of  calling  her  to  Paris  in  the  near 
future  to  fill  the  office  of  Assistant  General.  We  read  in 
the  French  biography  of  Mother  Hardey :  "  Strong  reasons 
justified  this  decision.  The  Decrees  of  the  Congregation 
advise  that  the  Counsellors  of  the  Mother  General  be  chosen 
from  the  nationalities  represented  in  the  Society,  and  no 
one  seemed  so  well  qualified  for  this  position  as  Mother 
Hardey,  by  reason  of  her  virtue,  ability,  and  thorough  ac- 
quaintance with  the  needs  of  the  Society  in  North  America." 
With  this  sacrifice  in  prospect,  and  the  secret  buried  in 
her  own  heart,  Mother  Hardey  returned  to  her  post,  to  con- 
tinue a  while  longer  her  mission  in  her  native  land.  She 
arrived  in  New  York  on  the  ninth  of  September,  and  two 
days  later  her  Kenwood  family  gave  her  a  joyful  "  Welcome 
Home." 


396 


-    il  I'l   I       i      i 


1  Maryville,  Missouri 

2  Clifton,  Cincinnati 

3  St.  Charles',  Missouri.     (New  House) 

4  St.  Joseph's,  Missouri 


CHAPTER   XXIII. 

FOUNDATION   IN    CINCINNATI — MOTHER    HARDEY    RESUMES 
THE  GOVERNMENT  OF  MANHATTANVILLE — FOUNDA- 
TION OF  ROSECROFT,  MARYLAND 1869-1871. 

Mother  Hardey's  first  duty  on  her  return  from  France 
was  to  carry  out  the  decisions  of  Mother  Goetz  respecting 
the  change  of  superiors  in  the  Vicariates  of  New  York  and 
Missouri.  Mother  Gauthreaux  was  appointed  Vicar  of  the 
Missouri  province,  in  place  of  Mother  Galwey,  who  was 
named  to  succeed  Mother  Boudreau  as  local  superior  of 
Manhattanville.  The  latter  went  to  Eden  Hall  to  replace 
Mother  Tucker,  who  was  transferred  to  the  convent  in  St. 
Louis.  It  is  unnecessary  to  add  that  these  changes,  which 
occasioned  so  many  sacrifices  and  heart  sufferings  to  the 
religious  families  concerned,  were  accepted  with  a  deep 
religious  spirit  of  submission. 

A  sweet  consolation  was  afforded  to  Mother  Hardey  by 
the  dedication  of  the  beautiful  gothic  chapel  of  Kenwood, 
on  October  20,  1869,  feast  of  Mater  Admirabilis.  Bishop 
Conroy  officiated,  assisted  by  a  large  number  of  ecclesiastics, 
and  the  admirably  trained  choir  of  St.  Joseph's  Church, 
Albany,  and  two  years  later,  he  consecrated  the  exquisite 
marble  altar,  his  own  generous  gift  to  Mother  Hardey  for 
the  new  chapel.  It  remains  as  a  fitting  memorial  of  his 
loyal  friendship  and  of  his  loving  zeal  for  the  House  of  God. 

Mother  Hardey's  next  work  was  the  arrangement  of  the 
necessary  details  of  the  foundation  in  Cincinnati.  Owing 
to  the  absence  of  Archbishop  Purcell  at  the  Vatican  Coun- 
cil, she  thought  it  prudent  to  await  his  return,  but  let- 
ters from  his  brother,  Very  Rev.  Edward  Purcell,  V.  G., 
induced  her  to  undertake  the  foundation  at  once.  Father 
Edward  writes:  "  You  appear  to  have  doubts,  dear  Madame 
Hardey,  about  your  foundation  in  this  diocese.  The  arch- 

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MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

bishop  has  told  you,  and  written  to  you,  of  his  desire  that 
you  should  come  to  Cincinnati,  and  even  if  I  were  not 
equally  anxious  on  the  subject,  the  fact  that  it  would  be  a 
pleasure  to  him,  would  make  it  a  law  for  me.  Your  founda- 
tion does  not  depend  upon  any  special  spot  in  the  diocese, 
but  you  are  welcome  to  choose  over  all  its  territory.  I  hope 
you  will  find  this  sufficiently  explicit.  Whatever  service  I 
can  be  to  you,  I  will  cheerfully  perform.  I  may  probably 
write  again  in  a  day  or  two  to  tell  you  the  exact  position 
of  things  here,  and  what  you  may  expect  for  your  school." 

A  few  days  later  he  recommends  the  purchase  of  a  cer- 
tain property  just  then  in  the  market :  "  If  you  could  secure 
the  place  for  your  Order  it  would  be  the  best  you  could 
procure  here.  I  take  it  for  granted  that  you  wish  to  be 
near  the  city.  The  Sisters  of  Notre  Dame  and  the  Sisters  of 
Charity  monopolize  the  northern  and  western  sections  of 
the  country,  which  lie  within  a  few  miles  of  the  city,  so 
that  Cincinnati  would  alone  be  exempt  from  competition, 
which  I  think  should  be  avoided  if  possible. 

"  Now,  Madame  Hardey,  I  place  these  plans  before  you 
that  you  may  ascertain  the  Divine  Will,  which  you  know  it 
is  your  duty  to  do.  I  can  give  only  a  poor  human  judgment 
in  the  matter.  The  Ursulines  have  a  splendid  place  forty 
miles  from  town,  which  is  crowded  with  pupils,  two-thirds 
Protestants.  This  proves  that  distance  from  the  city  makes 
no  difference  to  the  prosperity  of  an  institute.  I  acknowl- 
edge I  would  like  to  have  you  in,  or  near,  Cincinnati.  As 
I  said  before,  I  now  repeat,  that  no  previous  consideration 
and  no  regard  for  other  Religious  Orders  in  the  diocese 
will  permit  me  to  hesitate  a  moment  in  doing  all  I  can  to 
advance  your  interests.  I  will  do  as  much  from  a  sense 
of  duty  in  this  matter,  as  I  would  from  impulse  of  heart  in 
any  other,  and  I  can  assure  you  that  both,  poor  and  insuf- 
ficient as  they  are,  are  at  the  service  of  your  community." 

The  desire  expressed  in  these  friendly  letters  seemed  of 
itself  an  indication  of  the  Divine  Will,  so  Mother  Hardey, 

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FOUNDATION  IN  CINCINNATI 

accompanied  by  her  secretary,  left  Kenwood  for  Cincinnati 
in  the  closing  days  of  October,  and  was  hospitably  enter- 
tained by  Father  Purcell  in  the  episcopal  residence.  He 
himself  accompanied  her  in  quest  of  a  suitable  location. 
They  found  a  desirable  residence  on  West  Sixth  Street, 
which  was  purchased,  and  Mother  Hardey  and  her  secretary 
took  possession  on  the  first  of  November,  under  the  pat- 
ronage of  All  Saints.  The  little  band  of  foundresses  was 
summoned  from  Kenwood,  and  preparations  were  begun 
for  the  opening  of  the  school.  It  would  be  needless  to 
dwell  at  length  on  the  part  taken  by  Mother  Hardey  in 
the  domestic  work  of  the  foundation.  Then,  as  on  former 
occasions,  she  was  in  the  midst  of  her  daughters,  making 
their  labors  a  pleasing  pastime,  and  gently  teaching  them 
how  to  interweave  pious  thoughts  with  the  toil  of  busy 
hands. 

A  loving  annalist  has  left  us  records  of  those  early  days : 
"  Our  dear  Reverend  Mother  was  the  life  of  our  happy  cir- 
cle, sharing  all  our  occupations,  and  inspiring  us  with  a 
high  sense  of  our  privileges  as  foundresses.  Once  while 
we  were  picking  hair  and  husks  for  mattresses,  she  turned  to 
me  and  said,  '  Sister,  for  every  leaf  you  pluck,  ask  our  Lord 
to  pluck  away  a  leaf  of  your  imperfections.'  It  was  easy 
to  see  that  her  heart  was  in  close  union  with  Him,  whom 
she  wished  to  teach  us  to  serve  with  a  generous  spirit. 
Mass  was  celebrated  for  the  first  time  in  our  little  chapel 
on  the  Feast  of  St.  Stanislaus,  and,  on  the  Feast  of  the 
Presentation,  the  aspirants  renewed  their  vows.  A  few 
days  later  our  Mother  gave  us  a  beautiful  conference,  in 
which  she  sought  to  impress  us  with  the  nobility  and  obli- 
gations of  our  mission.  The  very  word  '  foundation,'  she 
said,  conveys  its  own  meaning.  When  masons  build  a 
strong  edifice,  intended  to  stand  the  wear  of  time,  they  dig 
a  deep  trench,  place  within  it  massive  stones,  which  they 
cement  firmly  together.  So  should  it  be  with  this  founda- 
tion. Those  chosen  to  be  its  first  members  are  its  founders, 

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MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

and  they  should  strive  to  be  such  in  spirit  and  in  truth, 
laying  deep  in  their  hearts  the  solid  virtues  of  humility, 
obedience,  charity  and  zeal.  Upon  the  strength  of  your 
virtues  will  depend  the  religious  spirit  which  you  will  trans- 
mit to  your  successors.  If  those  who  in  future  years  live  in 
this  house  be  wanting  in  humility,  it  will  be  because  the 
founders  have  not  laid  the  foundation  stone  of  this  beau- 
tiful virtue,  dearer  than  all  others  to  the  Heart  of  Jesus. 
If  they  be  wanting  in  obedience  and  fidelity  to  rule,  it  will 
be  because  the  founders  have  not  labored  with  a  true  love  of 
the  rule  in  their  hearts.  A  grave  responsibility  then  rests 
upon  you,  and  how  is  it  to  be  discharged?  By  living  in 
the  presence  of  God,  working  for  His  glory,  not  your  own 
satisfaction,  and  laboring  with  all  the  earnestness  of  your 
soul  to  become  perfect  as  your  Heavenly  Father  is  per- 
fect." At  the  moment  of  her  departure  for  Kenwood,  she 
said,  "  I  leave  you  to  the  care  of  good  Mother  Hogan,  but 
especially  to  that  of  the  Divine  Guest  in  the  Tabernacle 
who  must  henceforth  be  your  Light,  your  Joy,  your  All !  " 
In  the  Spring  of  1870  Mother  Hardey  had  great  anxiety 
in  regard  to  the  property  of  Manhattanville.  Heavy  assess- 
ments were  levied  for  the  surrounding  improvements  made 
by  the  city,  and  a  division  of  the  property  was  threatened. 
Mother  Galwey,  the  superior,  was  in  a  poor  state  of  health 
and  incapable  of  coping  with  existing  difficulties.  She  herself 
realized  the  condition  of  affairs,  and  at  one  of  Mother  Har- 
dey's  visits  to  Manhattanville  made  known  her  desire  to  be 
relieved  of  responsibility.  Her  edifying  letter  on  the  sub- 
ject will  no  doubt  interest  our  readers: 

"  REV.  AND  DEAR  MOTHER  : 

"  Seeing  your  constant  occupation  all  day  long,  the  idea 
presents  itself  of  writing  to  you,  so  that  while  en  route  to 
Kenwood  you  may  read  my  sentiments.  If  our  Very  Rev. 
Mother  should  in  charity  release  me  from  the  terrible  re- 
sponsibility of  superiority,  may  I  simply  state  my  mind? 

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FOUNDATION  IN  CINCINNATI 

For  many  years  I  have  felt  a  desire  to  be  placed  in  a  position 
where  I  might  try  to  edify  by  a  life  of  humility  and  submis- 
sion. I  have  often  heard  that  the  head  superiors  of  religious 
communities  frequently  find  subjects  unwilling  to  retire  to 
hidden  life,  and  I  have  thought,  if  God  granted  me  the 
opportunity,  I  should  prove  by  example  my  real  apprecia- 
tion of  my  vocation.  If  withdrawn,  may  I  beg  of  you,  my 
first  Mother,  to  employ  me  in  an  office  without  title?  I 
am  fully  conscious  how  incapable  I  am  at  my  age,  sixty- 
six,  to  fill  efficiently  the  higher  charges.  I  have  no  knowl- 
edge of  the  Sisters'  employments,  and  none  for  the  school, 
either  for  studies  or  discipline.  In  fact,  I  feel  I  could  only 
aid  under  an  official,  and  I  ask  as  a  favor,  that  neither 
my  age  nor  my  former  employments  shall  be  considered. 
Let  me  simply  take  my  place  of  profession,  without  consid- 
eration. I  am  urged  to  prepare  for  eternity,  and  I  long  to 
avail  myself  of  the  time  granted  me  to  repair  the  past  and 
be  assured,  dear  Mother,  the  last  place  in  the  Society  would 
be  happily  accepted  by  me.  I  am  now,  what  think  I  was 
in  1836,  when  I  asked  for  admission  into  our  Blessed  So- 
ciety, and  I  can  never  do  too  much,  nor  even  enough,  to 
prove  my  gratitude  to  God  for  the  precious  blessing.  You 
will  not,  dear  Mother,  I  trust  ever  have  cause  to  regret  hav- 
ing given  a  helping  hand  to  your  first  daughter.  I  will  with 
God's  help  be  submissive  and  devoted.  Ever  your  grateful 

daughter  in  C.  T.  «  **•    T    /•»  r>  c  /-  T  » 

M.  J.  GALWEY,  R.S.CJ. 

Mother  Galwey  expressed  her  desire  likewise  to  the  Su- 
perior General,  who,  in  view  of  the  exceptional  difficulties, 
accepted  her  resignation  and  appointed  Mother  Hardey 
once  more  to  the  government  of  Manhattanville.  The  ic- 
turn  of  their  beloved  Mother  was  a  great  joy  to  her  daugh- 
ters, and  a  great  benefit  to  the  temporal  prosperity  of  the 
house,  while  it  added  greatly  to  her  own  cares  and  respon- 
sibilities. For  several  years  the  rapid  growth  of  the  city 
had  encroached  upon  the  seclusion  of  the  convent,  and  the 

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MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

Board  of  Public  Works  was  now  about  to  execute  a  plan 
for  cutting  streets  through  the  convent  property.  One  day 
a  party  of  public  officials  called  to  notify  Mother  Hardey 
of  the  improvements  in  project.  As  soon  as  they  were 
seated  in  the  parlor,  they  began  to  discuss  their  plans,  when 
one  of  them  prudently  reminded  the  others  to  be  on  their 
guard  against  the  influence  of  Madame  Hardey.  "  Gentle- 
men," he  said,  "  do  not  permit  yourselves  to  be  magnetized 
by  Madame  Hardey!  Be  determined  not  to  yield  an  inch 
of  the  ground  mapped  out.  She  has  a  wonderful  power  of 
bringing  every  one  into  line  with  her  views."  All  declared 
their  firm  purpose  of  adhering  to  their  decision,  one  gentle- 
man remarking  no  woman  could  ever  make  him  change  his 
mind.  At  this  moment  Mother  Hardey  entered.  She  gra- 
ciously saluted  her  visitors,  then  waited  for  them  to  make 
known  their  business.  She  listened  in  silence  to  their  plans 
and  projects,  appeared  much  interested  in  the  remarks  of 
each  one,  but  gave  no  utterance  to  her  own  sentiments 
until  they  had  concluded  their  explanations. 

When  they  manifested  their  desire  to  hear  her  opinion, 
she  quietly  answered  in  a  firm,  but  pursuasive  tone  of  voice, 
"  Surely,  gentlemen,  you  cannot  intend  to  carry  out  the 
extreme  and  ill-advised  measures  which  you  propose?" 
One  of  the  party  handed  her  the  drawings  of  the  projected 
improvements  in  that  section  of  the  city,  claiming  that  their 
decision  was  the  result  of  thorough  investigation  and  abso- 
lute necessity.  His  statements  were  supported  by  the  argu- 
ments of  his  colleagues.  After  listening  calmly  and  atten- 
tively to  the  exposition  of  their  plans  and  examining 
carefully  the  map  before  her,  Mother  Hardey  pointed  out 
here  and  there  several  serious  obstacles  which  they  had 
not  foreseen.  Then  she  suggested  other  measures  and  plans 
far  more  advantageous,  and  when  she  saw  that  her  judgment 
had  prevailed,  she  called  for  pen  and  paper,  and  in  less  than 
ten  minutes  she  secured  their  written  promise  that  the  con- 
vent property  should  not  be  touched.  Refreshments  were 

302 


FOUNDATION  IN  CINCINNATI 

then  offered  and  very  soon  the  merriment  of  the  party  gave 
evidence  of  their  good  feeling  when  the  spokesman  ex- 
claimed, "Did  I  not  warn  you,  gentlemen?  No  one  can 
resist  Madame  Hardey's  will !  " 

In  the  autumn  of  1870,  anxieties  of  another  nature 
weighed  upon  Mother  Hardey's  heart.  The  Sovereign  Pon- 
tiff was  a  prisoner  in  the  Vatican  to  the  great  grief  of  every 
true  child  of  the  Church,  and  the  Franco-Prussian  war  was 
a  deep  solicitude  to  the  members  of  the  Society  of  the 
Sacred  Heart.  The  convents  in  France  were  exposed  to 
all  the  dangers  of  war,  and  many  of  them  had  been  con- 
verted into  hospitals  for  the  sick  and  wounded  of  the  con- 
tending armies.  As  the  victorious  troops  advanced  towards 
the  capital  the  Mother  General,  yielding  to  the  advice  of 
her  council,  withdrew  to  Laval,  where  she  hoped  to  be  able 
to  keep  up  communication  with  the  houses  of  the  Society. 
Mother  Hardey  sent  her  the  following  expression  of  sym- 
pathy :  "  You  cannot  imagine,  my  Very  Rev.  Mother,  our 
intense  anxiety  of  the  past  few  weeks.  Your  letter  of 
September  i/th  is  doubly  precious,  since  it  gives  me  the 
assurance  that  you  have  left  Paris  for  Laval.  May  Our  Lord 
protect  you  and  all  our  houses  in  France.  Prayers  are  be- 
ing offered  throughout  this  vicariate  for  your  preservation 
and  that  of  our  loved  Society."  After  suggesting  the 
thought  that  it  might  be  the  Divine  Will  that  the  Mother 
General  should  leave  France  during  these  troubled  days,  to 
visit  her  American  families,  Mother  Hardey  adds,  "  Will 
you  permit  me,  my  Very  Rev.  Mother,  to  make  the  voyage 
to  France  and  bring  you  to  our  American  shore?  " 

Writing  again,  at  the  close  of  the  war,  Mother  Hardey 
says :  "  O  my  Very  Rev.  Mother,  how  deeply  our  hearts 
shared  in  your  trials  during  the  sad  times  through  which 
you  have  passed !  How  ardently  we  longed  to  contribute 
to  the  necessities  of  our  dear  Mothers  and  Sisters  during 
the  period  of  their  cruel  suffering!  Be  assured  of  our 
filial  sympathy  in  your  great  affliction  at  the  loss  of  our 

303 


MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

saintly  Mother  Prevost.  Our  heartfelt  thanks  have  been 
offered  to  God  for  your  preservation,  and  it  will  be  a  great 
happiness  for  us  to  fulfill  your  vow."  Mother  Goetz  had 
made  a  promise  that  throughout  the  Society  on  every  Fri- 
day of  the  coming  year  Acts  of  Consecration  and  Repara- 
tion should  be  read  in  presence  of  the  Blessed  Sacrament, 
in  thanksgiving  for  the  protection  which  had  been  vouch- 
safed to  her  convents  during  the  disastrous  war.  But 
hardly  was  the  siege  of  Paris  raised  when  the  city  was  at 
the  mercy  of  the  Communists,  who  threatened  to  renew  the 
horrors  of  the  great  revolution.  Again  Mother  Hardey 
wrote : 

"  I  cannot  tell  you  how  anxious  we  are  in  regard  to  our 
houses  in  France,  especially  those  in  Paris.  The  only  details 
we  have  received  have  reached  us  from  England,  and  how 
far  they  are  from  reassuring  us!  We  trust  that  you  are  still 
at  Laval,  for  it  would  increase  our  anguish  if  we  thought 
you  were  in  the  midst  of  the  Paris  riots.  This  letter  will 
reach  you  about  the  Feast  of  the  Patronage  of  Saint  Joseph. 
How  gladly  would  I  offer  my  good  wishes  for  your  feast- 
day,  but  during  these  sorrowful  times  we  can  only  plead 
with  Saint  Joseph  to  show  himself  the  true  patron  of  the 
Church  and  of  the  venerated  Mother,  so  dear  to  all  otfr 
hearts." 

Mother  Hardey's  sympathy  found  expression  in  a  prac- 
tical form,  for  when  assured  that  her  gifts  would  reach  their 
destination  she  sent  to  the  Mother  General  all  the  money 
she  could  spare.  Mother  Goetz  was  moved  to  tears  by  this 
generosity,  and  was  heard  to  exclaim,  "  Ah !  what  charity 
reigns  in  the  Society." 

Cuba  was  at  this  period  scourged  by  civil  war,  and  the 
sorrow  that  filled  its  desolate  homes  was  felt  by  many  a 
heart  in  the  schools  of  Manhattanville  and  Kenwood.  Al- 
most every  family  suffered  the  loss  of  a  loved  one,  torn 
from  wife  and  children  by  imprisonment,  exile  or  death. 
Many  of  the  Cuban  pupils  were  left  dependent  upon  Mother 

304 


FOUNDATION  IN  CINCINNATI 

Hardey's  bounty.  They  found  in  her  a  Mother  ever  ready 
to  console  them  in  their  grief,  and  to  supply  the  needs  of 
those  whose  fortunes  were  wrecked  by  the  war.  In  the 
winter  of  1871  she  was  about  to  visit  the  community  of 
Havana,  when  her  physician  opposed  the  voyage  on  account 
of  a  serious  indisposition  from  which  she  was  suffering. 
She  appointed  Mother  Tommasini  to  go  in  her  place,  and 
to  assure  her  daughters  that  her  heart  was  with  them  in 
the  midst  of  their  great  trials. 

In  April  she  made  the  visitation  of  the  convents  in 
Rochester  and  Cincinnati.  She  rejoiced  to  find  in  the  latter 
about  fifty  pupils.  Writing  to  the  Mother  General  she 
says :  "  The  Cincinnati  foundation  prospers  beyond  our  most 
sanguine  hopes.  Mother  Hogan  is  very  successful,  and  she 
manages  remarkably  well.  She  has  won  general  confidence, 
and  has  enlarged  the  building  for  the  accommodation  of 
the  pupils,  defraying  all  the  expenses  herself.  His  Grace, 
Archbishop  Purcell,  takes  a  lively  interest  in  the  welfare 
of  the  new  convent,  and  manifests  on  all  occasions  his  de- 
light in  possessing  a  convent  of  the  Sacred  Heart  in  his 
episcopal  city.  We  must  try  to  get  a  house  in  the  country, 
for  the  confinement  in  the  city  would  soon  prove  injurious 
to  the  health  of  the  community.  There  is  another  founda- 
tion, Very  Rev.  Mother,  which  I  venture  to  propose  to 
you.  My  young  sister,  having  decided  to  enter  the  noviti- 
ate, her  mother  offers  us  her  home  for  an  Academy.  I 
felt  that  you  would  approve  of  my  visiting  the  place  on  my 
way  from  Cincinnati,  in  order  to  give  you  a  description  of  it. 

"  The  property  is  beautifully  situated  on  the  Saint 
Mary's  River,  one  hundred  and  twenty  miles  from  Balti- 
more, and  consists  of  three  hundred  acres  of  land,  one  hun- 
dred and  fifty  of  which  are  dense  forests,  the  remainder 
being  corn  fields,  pastures,  etc.  As  it  is  almost  surrounded 
by  water  the  place  offers  all  the  advantages  of  sea  bathing, 
which  would  be  very  beneficial  to  our  invalids,  and  there 
is  always  abundance  of  fish  and  oysters.  The  house,  though 


20 


305 


MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

not  large,  is  commodious,  and  of  sufficient  size  for  a  begin- 
ning; the  expenses  of  the  foundation  will  be  small.  The 
Rev.  Jesuit  Fathers  have  a  residence  at  a  short  distance 
and  they  promise  us  spiritual  help.  They  are  very  anxious 
to  see  a  convent  of  the  Sacred  Heart  at  Rosecroft,  for  they 
realize  how  much  good  a  house  of  education  would  accom- 
plish in  that  part  of  the  country. 

"  I  may  add,  that  this  place  is  regarded  as  the  cradle  of 
Catholicity  in  Maryland,  as  the  first  Catholic  colony  landed 
here  in  1634.  The  Archbishop  of  Baltimore  remarked 
the  Catholics  of  Maryland  would  be  delighted  to  see  the 
Sacred  Heart  established  in  this  consecrated  spot.  I  submit 
to  you  this  offer  of  my  step-mother,  who,  through  respect 
for  the  wishes  of  my  venerated  father,  desires  to  transfer  the 
property  to  a  Religious  Order,  and,  since  her  only  daughter 
has  chosen  the  Sacred  Heart,  it  is  to  the  Sacred  Heart  that 
she  gives  the  preference.  In  closing,  let  me  assure  you, 
Very  Rev.  Mother,  that  your  decision  respecting  the  pro- 
ject, whether  favorable  or  otherwise,  will  be  accepted  as 
coming  from  God." 

In  passing  through  Baltimore  Mother  Hardey  visited 
Archbishop  Spalding,  in  order  to  confer  with  him  on  the 
subject  of  the  proposed  foundation.  The  impression  left 
upon  his  Grace  by  Mother  Hardey's  wise  judgment  and 
administrative  ability  was  so  profound,  that  he  remarked  to 
one  of  his  priests:  "  Madame  Hardey  is  a  woman  created  by 
God  for  the  accomplishment  of  a  great  work,  and  there  will 
never  be  another  like  her/' 

The  foundation  of  Rosecroft  was  accepted  by  the  Mother 
General,  and  in  September,  1871,  the  homestead  was  trans- 
formed into  a  convent  of  the  Sacred  Heart.  It  may  interest 
the  reader  to  know  that  in  colonial  times  Rosecroft  was  the 
residence  of  the  Collector  of  the  Port  of  St.  Mary's,  and 
that  it  was  also  the  home  of  Blanche  Warden,  the  heroine  of 
John  P.  Kennedy's  novel,  "  Rob  of  the  Bowl."  The  garden 
was  literally  a  parterre  of  roses,  several  varieties  blooming 

306 


FOUNDATION  IN  CINCINNATI 

as  late  as  Christmas,  hence  the  name  Rosecroft,  "  A  field  of 
roses."  Scarcely  was  this  new  school  established  on  a  firm 
basis  when  difficulties  arose  which  led  Mother  Hardey  to 
fear  for  its  future. 

In  January,  1872,  she  wrote  to  Mother  Goetz :  "  With 
regard  to  the  Maryland  foundation  an  unexpected  circum- 
stance makes  me  think  that  perhaps  it  does  not  enter  into 
the  designs  of  Providence  that  the  Sacred  Heart  should  be 
established  at  Rosecroft.  I  have  already  written  you  that 
the  Jesuit  Fathers  have  a  residence  near  the  place,  and  that 
two  priests  being  there,  they  would  willingly  attend  to  our 
spiritual  needs;  since  that  time,  the  new  provincial  has 
withdrawn  one  of  these  fathers,  and  he  refuses  to  permit 
the  other  to  serve  us.  The  Archbishop  of  Baltimore  cannot 
give  us  a  chaplain,  as  that  part  of  Maryland  is  under  the 
exclusive  jurisdiction  of  the  Jesuits.  Happily,  no  definite 
arrangements  have  been  made  in  regard  to  the  property,  as 
my  sister  is  not  yet  of  age,  so  we  are  at  liberty  to  abandon 
it  if  future  difficulties  render  our  stay  there  impracticable." 

Hoping  that  events  might  take  a  more  favorable  turn, 
the  Religious  of  the  Sacred  Heart  continued  their  mission  at 
Rosecroft,  Mother  Hardey  having  secured  a  chaplain  from 
the  New  York  diocese  to  minister  to  their  wants,  but  as  we 
shall  see  later  on,  the  deprivation  of  spiritual  aid  forced 
them  to  abandon  Maryland. 

The  year  1871  is  memorable  for  the  terrible  conflagra- 
tion that  swept  over  the  city  of  Chicago,  reducing  over  two- 
thirds  of  the  city  to  a  heap  of  ashes.  Over  ten  thousand 
families  were  left  homeless,  but  the  convent  of  the  Sacred 
Heart  escaped  destruction,  as  if  by  miracle,  for  the  wind 
turned  the  flames  in  a  contrary  direction  just  as  they  had 
begun  to  destroy  the  section  in  which  it  was  located.  The 
religious  were  thus  enabled  to  give  shelter  to  other  com- 
munities whose  convents  had  been  destroyed.  On  hearing 
of  the  disaster,  Mother  Hardey  organized  bazaars  in  all  her 
houses  and  sent  the  proceeds  to  be  distributed  to  the  most 
need  sufferers. 


CHAPTER  XXIV. 

MOTHER  HARDEY  APPOINTED  ASSISTANT  GENERAL  AND  Vis- 

ITATRIX  OF  THE  CONVENTS  OF  NORTH  AMERICA — 

DEPARTURE    FOR    FRANCE — 1871-1872. 

When  the  troubled  days  of  1871  had  drawn  to  a  close 
and  the  Mother  General  had  returned  with  her  counsellors 
to  Paris,  Mother  Hardey  was  appointed  Assistant  General, 
and  deputed  to  visit  the  convents  in  North  America.  At 
that  time  the  Vicariates  of  the  United  States  and  Canada 
numbered  twenty-five  houses  and  to  visit  them,  as  Mother 
Goetz  wrote  in  December,  1871,  would  require  about  three 
or  four  months.  "  Therefore,"  she  added,  "  we  shall  expect 
to  welcome  you  at  the  Mother  House  about  the  end  of 
August." 

Although  she  had  been  prepared  for  the  summons,  dur- 
ing the  retreat  in  Paris  in  1869,  Mother  Hardey  hoped  to 
escape  the  dignity  and  its  consequent  sacrifices,  but  the 
call  was  received  with  that  spirit  of  obedience  and  sim- 
plicity which  had  always  marked  her  response  to  the  voice 
of  authority.  In  her  reply  to  Mother  Goetz  she  says: 
"  Your  letter  of  December  I2th  has  overwhelmed  me.  My 
first  exclamation  on  reading  it  was,  '  My  poor  Mother  Gen- 
eral !  She  is  increasing  her  burden  by  choosing  an  aid  who 
is  incapable  of  giving  her  assistance.  Yet  obedience  is 
everything  to  me,  my  venerated  Mother.  I  am  ready  to 
go.' "  Alluding  to  the  regrets  expressed  by  Mother  Goetz 
on  being  obliged  to  remove  her  from  her  country,  and  the 
works  which  she  had  established  there,  she  continues :  "  As 
to  the  sacrifice  of  my  native  land,  I  can  say  in  truth,  that  I 
have  always  considered  the  Society  as  my  country  and  my 
home.  With  regard  to  my  works,  I  know  full  well,  that  God 
has  need  of  no  one." 

After  making  a  detailed  statement  of  the  affairs  of  her 

308 


APPOINTED  ASSISTANT  GENERAL 

vicariate,  she  represented  the  advantages  of  delaying  her 
departure  until  she  had  settled  certain  pecuniary  matters,  in 
order  to  lighten  the  burden  of  her  successor,  and  then  con- 
cludes as  follows :  "  Permit  me  to  renew  the  assurance  that 
I  place  myself  in  your  hands.  I  have  given  you  the  details 
of  everything,  and  I  will  accept  with  submission  whatever 
you  will  decide."  Again,  in  answer  to  a  letter  received  from 
Mother  Goetz  in  January,  1872,  she  says :  "  I  have  no  other 
desire  than  to  submit  my  views  to  your  judgment,  and  to 
show  my  gratitude  for  your  maternal  goodness.  To  be  sta- 
tioned near  you,  and  to  learn  at  last  how  to  obey,  after  hav- 
ing been  so  long  obliged  to  command,  will  be  to  me  a  real 
happiness,  and  it  will  sweeten  the  trial  which  this  change 
may  cause  nature  to  suffer." 

Mother  Goetz  proposed  to  make  known  immediately  the 
nomination  of  Mother  Hardey  to  the  post  of  Assistant  Gen- 
eral, but  the  humility  of  the  latter  shrank  from  the  addi- 
tional honors  which  this  announcement  would  have  secured. 
She  pleaded  for  permission  to  travel  in  quality  of  Visitatrix, 
and  having  obtained  the  consent  of  the  Mother  General,  she 
started  on  her  journey  early  in  February.  Her  first  visit 
was  to  Havana,  where  her  unexpected  arrival  gave  great 
joy  to  her  Cuban  family,  and  her  stay  of  two  weeks  afforded 
them  multiplied  graces  and  consolations.  The  visit  seemed 
truly  providential,  for  they  were  sorely  harassed  by  various 
measures  of  the  government,  which  threatened  to  compro- 
mise their  rights  and  privileges.  As  a  citizen  of  the  United 
States,  Mother  Hardey  was  not  qualified  to  take  the  initia- 
tive in  seeking  to  obtain  a  redress  of  grievances,  but  the 
wisdom  of  her  counsels  directed  her  daughters  to  act  with 
that  prudence  which  eventually  conciliated  the  government 
and  preserved  intact  the  rights  of  the  convent.  When  free 
from  other  duties,  she  took  her  place  beside  the  bed  of 
Mother  Byrne,  the  superior,  who  was  dying  of  cancer. 
"  Come  with  me,"  she  said  one  morning  to  her  secretary, 
"  and  see  how  courageously  a  saint  can  suffer."  She  as- 

309 


MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

sisted  while  the  attendants  were  dressing  the  wounds,  for 
the  purpose,  she  said,  of  gaining  strength  for  her  own  soul. 
Although  she  knew  her  adieu  was  final,  no  word  or  sign 
betrayed  her  emotions  on  parting  with  her  daughters,  con- 
sequently they  had  no  suspicion  of  the  sacrifice  which  she 
offered  on  the  altar  of  obedience.  On  her  return  to  Man- 
hattanville  Mother  Hardey  presided  at  the  semi-annual  ex- 
aminations with  as  much  interest,  as  if  she  had  no  other 
duty  to  fulfill.  Her  stay  at  home  was  brief,  for  early  in 
April  she  resumed  her  travels,  but  so  admirably  had  she 
maintained  silence  respecting  her  new  mission  it  was 
only  after  she  had  started  on  her  Western  tour  that  it  be- 
came known  that  she  was  Visitatrix.  On  reaching  Chicago 
she  found  the  community  mourning  the  loss  of  their  be- 
loved Superior  Vicar,  Mother  Gauthreaux,  who,  on  the 
twenty-fifth  of  March  had  yielded  up  her  soul  to  God.  In 
offering  condolence  to  the  afflicted  family  Mother  Hardey 
dwelt  upon  that  incomparable  charity  which  had  always  in- 
clined their  deceased  Mother  to  palliate  the  faults  of  others, 
and  to  exaggerate  their  virtues. 

The  illness  and  death  of  Mother  Gauthreaux  necessi- 
tated certain  changes.  Mother  Hardey  recommended  the 
removal  of  the  novices  to  Maryville,  which  was  better  fitted 
for  their  accommodation  than  the  restricted  quarters  of  the 
Taylor  Street  convent.  The  suggestion  received  the  ap- 
proval of  the  Mother  General,  and  a  few  months  later  the 
transfer  of  the  novitate  was  effected. 

From  Chicago  Mother  Hardey  journeyed  to  Saint  Joseph, 
Missouri,  and  here  again  her  presence  was  a  source  of  bene- 
diction to  the  community.  They  were  suffering  at  the  time 
from  a  financial  embarrassment,  which  she  enabled  them  to 
overcome,  and  a  new  era  of  prosperity  began  at  once  for 
the  Academy  of  St.  Joseph's.  To  save  time  by  travelling 
during  the  night,  she  set  out  on  the  evening  of  April 
I5th,  for  Saint  Mary's,  Kansas.  Arriving  at  three  o'clock 
in  the  morning,  she  was  disappointed  to  find  neither  car- 

310 


APPOINTED  ASSISTANT  GENERAL 

riage  nor  messenger  awaiting  her.  "  We  have  only  to  sit 
on  our  trunk,"  she  said  to  her  secretary,  "  and  remain  here 
until  morning.  Meantime,  let  us  ask  St.  Joseph  to  come  to 
our  aid."  Their  prayer  was  soon  answered,  for  after  a  few 
minutes  they  saw  a  feeble  light  in  the  distance. 

Hoping  that  it  gave  promise  of  shelter  from  the  cold  and 
darkness,  they  advanced  slowly  and  cautiously,  until  they 
reached  a  small  house  which  proved  to  be  a  variety  store. 
Their  loud  rapping  at  the  door  seemed  to  cause  consterna- 
tion within  for  they  could  hear  the  cry,  "  Joe,  Joe,  come 
quick !  "  After  prudent  inquiry  the  good  German  storekeeper 
admitted  them  willingly,  and  apologized  for  the  delay,  say- 
ing a  party  of  drunken  Indians  had  held  carousal  at  the 
station  the  night  before,  and  he  feared  they  might  give  him 
trouble  that  night.  "  He  invited  us  into  his  best  room," 
wrote  Mother  Hardey's  secretary,  "  and  made  a  fire  in  the 
big  stove,  which  seemed  to  be  the  chief  article  of  furni- 
ture. Learning  that  we  were  from  New  York,  he  plied 
Reverend  Mother  with  questions  about  trade,  stocks,  poli- 
tics and  every  imaginable  subject,  and  in  spite  of  her  fatigue 
she  entertained  him,  while  I  dozed  in  a  chair.  A  mes- 
senger was  dispatched  to  the  convent,  and  at  about  five 
o'clock  the  farm  wagon  and  team  took  us  to  our  journey's 
end.  The  telegram  announcing  our  coming  was  received 
only  after  we  had  breakfasted."  The  annals  of  Saint  Mary's 
mention  this  visit  as  a  most  signal  blessing.  We  quote  the 
following  extracts : 

"  The  temporalities  of  our  house  were  in  a  distressing 
condition.  This  dear  Mother  obtained  for  us  the  loan  of 
$10,000,  which  enabled  us  to  meet  the  most  urgent  demands, 
but  her  efforts  were  especially  directed  towards  establishing 
us  in  supernatural  riches,  which  are  our  safest  treasures. 
She  showed  the  greatest  kindness  towards  each  one,  trying 
in  every  way  possible  to  make  us  as  comfortable  as  our 
surroundings  would  permit.  Finding  that  our  wardrobes 
and  bedding  needed  replenishing,  her  charity  found  means 

3" 


MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

of  providing  us  at  once  with  a  generous  supply.  Having 
heard  how  much  we  suffered  from  the  cold  during  the  past 
winter,  she  authorized  us  to  have  the  house  heated  by 
steam  before  the  next  season.  May  God  bless  her,  is  the 
cry  that  comes  from  the  depths  of  our  grateful  hearts." 

The  next  pause  in  the  itinerary  was  at  Saint  Charles, 
where  she  had  the  sweet  consolation  of  praying  at  the  tomb 
of  the  holy  Mother  Duchesne.  She  could  give  only  two 
days  to  this  little  family,  but  according  to  the  testimony  of 
one  of  the  religious,  "  she  captivated  all  hearts."  We  can 
readily  believe  that  in  this  cradle  of  the  Society  in  America, 
Mother  Hardey  found  strength  and  courage  for  her  own 
approaching  sacrifice,  and  recommended  earnestly  to  the 
prayers  of  the  saintly  Mother  Duchesne  the  important  mis- 
sion with  which  she  was  charged. 

On  April  22,  she  went  to  St.  Louis  and  thence  to  Mary- 
ville.  The  meeting  with  old  friends  and  the  making  of  new 
ones,  was  a  pleasure  afforded  by  the  visitation.  Madame 
Tucker,  the  superior,  sums  up  its  blessings  in  these  lines 
to  the  Mother  General : 

"  I  might  almost  say,  that  Mother  Hardey  has  been  the 
salvation  of  this  vicariate.  She  has  effected  great  things 
everywhere,  but  especially  at  St.  Joseph,  where  she  put 
their  accounts  in  order,  and  at  St.  Mary's,  to  which  house 
she  advanced  funds  necessary  to  discharge  their  debts.  She 
has  gained  the  confidence  of  all  by  her  goodness,  her  de- 
votedness  and  her  love  for  the  Society." 

Mother  Hardey  left  St.  Louis  on  April  30,  for  New  Or- 
leans. Her  secretary  wrote :  "  The  journey  was  fatiguing, 
but  at  each  delay  our  dear  Mother  said :  *  Let  us  thank 
God,  it  is  His  Holy  Will.'  That  thought  was  no  doubt 
her  spiritual  bouquet,  for  she  accepted  every  disappointment 
as  coming  directly  from  the  hand  of  God.  Always  on  the 
alert  to  render  service  to  others,  Rev.  Mother  noticed  that 
the  conductor  frequently  dropped  his  eye-glasses  because 
they  had  no  string.  Taking  a  shuttle  from  her  bag,  she 

312 


1  Convent,  London,  Ontario 

2  Halifax 

3  Sault-au-Recollet 


APPOINTED  ASSISTANT  GENERAL 

made  a  cord  in  a  very  short  time,  and  you  may  imagine 
how  pleased  he  was  to  receive  it.  After  a  journey  of  three 
days  and  three  nights  on  the  train,  we  reached  New  Orleans 
at  last,  and  were  met  by  a  young  gentleman  who  intro- 
duced himself  to  Reverend  Mother  as  the  son  of  one  of  her 
former  pupils  at  St.  Michael's.  We  arrived  at  the  convent 
at  one  A.M.,  and  to  the  great  disappointment  of  the  com- 
munity, left  the  same  day  for  Saint  Michael's,  as  a  friend 
had  advised  Reverend  Mother  to  take  that  evening's  boat, 
which  was  the  best  and  safest  on  the  line.  Soon  after  start- 
ing a  gentleman  came  forward  exclaiming,  '  Well,  well, 
is  this  indeed  Madame  Hardey?'  It  was  Mr.  Devlin,  the 
brother  of  our  good  friend  in  New  York.  Others  advanced 
and  also  claimed  acquaintance,  either  personally  or  through 
friends.  It  was  easy  to  see  that  Reverend  Mother's  name 
had  lived  among  the  scenes  she  had  left  more  than  thirty 
years  ago. 

"  We  reached  St.  Michael's  about  ten  o'clock,  and  not 
being  expected  there  was  no  one  at  the  landing  to  meet  us. 
Old  Black  John  having  heard  the  steamer  whistle  rushed 
down  calling  out,  '  Is  Madame  Hardey  here?  '  Upon  receiv- 
ing an  affirmative  reply  he  gave  loud,  joyful  cheers,  which 
echoing  in  the  distance  announced  our  arrival.  During 
three  nights  the  faithful  old  man  had  watched  for  her  com- 
ing, and  when  another  negro  offered  to  replace  him  he 
answered :  '  No,  no ;  if  ole  John  watch  three  weeks  he  must 
be  there  to  meet  Madame  Hardey,  she  knew  me  ever  since 
I'se  born.' 

"  Reverend  Mother  Hardey  remained  only  one  day  at 
St.  Michael's,  as  the  boat  was  leaving  for  Natchitoches,  ever 
bearing  in  mind  the  necessity  of  gaining  time,  in  order  to 
fulfill  her  mission  within  the  period  appointed  by  the  Mother 
General.  Owing  to  the  low  tide  of  the  Red  River  the  jour- 
ney lasted  three  days.  The  greater  number  of  the  passen- 
gers were  '  colored  ladies,'  who  seeing  Mother  Hardey 's 
secretary  busy  writing  during  the  day,  were  very  curious 

313 


MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

to  know  what  she  could  have  to  write  about.  One  of 
them  ventured  to  ask,  '  Is  that  daughter  of  yours  writing 
a  newspaper?'  'No/  said  Mother  Hardey,  'she  is  writ- 
ing letters.'  '  Lor'  sakes! '  exclaimed  the  woman,  '  I'd  give 
a  heap  of  money  to  have  a  letter  wrote  to  my  Sam ! '  '  She 
will  write  the  letter  for  nothing,'  said  Mother  Hardey, 
whereupon  Sarah  Ann  sat  down  beside  Mother  Hoey,  and 
confided  to  her  that  Sam  was  going  to  be  her  husband  and 
she  must  tell  him  how  much  she  missed  him,  and  how 
he  must  behave  until  she  came  back  again.  The  news 
soon  spread  through  the  negro  colony  that  letters  were 
being  written  for  nothing,  so  one  after  another  came 
to  claim  the  favor.  The  '  Secretary  of  the  Blacks '  wrote 
on  all  imaginable  subjects.  As  soon  as  a  letter  was  finished 
it  was  handed  by  the  happy  owner  to  Mother  Hardey  with 
the  request, '  Please  read  it  again.'  The  amiable  Mother  gra- 
ciously complied,  then  sealed  and  stamped  the  envelope  so 
that  it  might  be  ready  to  be  posted  at  the  next  stopping 
place.  Needless  to  say  that  she  made  many  hearts  glow 
with  pride  and  joy,  and  it  was  with  unfeigned  regret  that 
they  departed  from  her,  expressing  the  earnest  hope  that 
she  and  that  smart  daughter  of  hers  would  come  along  their 
way  again  some  day." 

The  visit  to  Natchitoches  was  very  brief,  but  it  abounded 
in  consolation  for  the  little  family  which  had  been  sorely 
tried  during  the  Civil  War.  The  school  was  so  depleted 
that  Mother  Hardey  recognized  the  need  of  a  more  prom- 
ising field  of  labor  elsewhere.  This  establishment  was 
closed  a  few  years  later.  On  May  12  she  returned  to  St. 
Michael's.  This  convent,  associated  with  so  many  happy 
memories  of  her  early  religious  life,  had  been  sadly  changed 
by  the  fortunes  of  war.  The  prospects  of  the  school,  once 
so  flourishing,  were  far  from  assuring,  but  in  a  very  touch- 
ing conference  Mother  Hardey  lifted  up  the  hearts  of 
her  daughters  with  the  watchword  of  Father  Varin,  "  Cour- 
age and  confidence ! "  Here,  as  everywhere  else,  the  sick 


APPOINTED  ASSISTANT  GENERAL 

were  the  object  of  her  maternal  solicitude.  On  learning  that 
one  of  the  religious  was  very  ill,  she  went  immediately  to 
visit  her,  and  every  day  during  her  sojourn  in  the  house 
she  repeated  this  act  of  charity,  although  she  had  to  mount 
a  long  staircase  to  reach  the  cell  of  the  invalid.  As  the 
fever  could  not  be  broken,  she  decided  to  try  change  of  air 
and  take  her  to  the  North. 

One  of  the  Sisters,  very  expert  in  making  shoes,  put 
one  of  her  nicest  pairs  in  Mother  Hardey's  room,  hoping 
she  would  wear  them.  Disappointed  at  not  seeing  or  hear- 
ing anything  about  them,  she  ventured  to  ask  if  the  shoes 
did  not  fit  her.  "  Oh,  my  good  Sister,"  replied  Mother  Har- 
dey,  "  I  did  not  try  them,  because  I  have  two  pairs  already 
and  a  third  would  be  against  holy  poverty ;  but  I  noticed 
Sister  X.  had  broken  shoes,  so  I  gave  them  to  her."  Then, 
inspired  by  her  tender  charity  for  others,  she  added :  "  Sis- 
ter, I  have  examined  some  of  the  Sisters'  shoes,  and  I  find 
they  are  very  badly  mended.  Try  to  be  more  careful  in 
future.  Our  dear  Sisters  are  on  their  feet  all  day  long  at 
their  employments,  and  if  their  shoes  are  not  comfortable, 
they  must  necessarily  suffer  very  much.  Now  promise  me 
you  will  do  your  best  to  make  this  act  of  charity  for  the  love 
of  the  Heart  of  Jesus." 

Mother  Hardey's  goodness  was  very  marked  to  the  for- 
mer slaves  of  the  convent.  One  especially,  "  old  Liza,"  was 
in  an  ecstasy  of  joy  on  seeing  again  her  dear  "  Madame 
Aloysia,"  whom  she  had  known  from  the  early  days  of  the 
foundation.  The  history  of  this  noted  character  may  be  of 
interest  to  our  readers.  At  the  age  of  seven  she  was  given 
to  Mother  Duchesne  by  Archbishop  Dubourg.  When  St. 
Michael's  was  opened,  she  was  sent  there  to  aid  in  the  do- 
mestic employments,  and  her  admiration  for  Madame  Aloy- 
sia, then  a  novice,  grew  with  each  succeeding  year.  The 
regret  of  her  life  was  that  she  was  black  and  therefore  de- 
barred from  joining  the  Society  of  the  Sacred  Heart.  One 
dav  Madame  Aloysia  found  the  poor  girl  crying  to  break 

315 


MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

her  he?rt.  When  asked  the  cause  of  her  grief,  Liza  an- 
swered she  had  been  told  that  she  would  turn  white  when 
she  had  shed  a  hogshead  of  tears.  The  assurance  that  if  she 
were  very  obedient  and  humble  she  would  be  with  the  re- 
ligious in  Heaven  made  Liza  very  happy,  but  her  repug- 
nance to  the  "  Blacks  "  was  never  wholly  overcome.  She 
declared  she  was  an  Indian,  and  therefore  superior  to  the 
negroes  around  her,  and  no  persuasion  could  make  her 
assist  at  any  of  their  services  in  the  parish  church. 

After  Madame  Aloysia  went  North  Liza  kept  up  a  cor- 
respondence with  her  "  spiritual  Mother,"  as  she  called  her. 
Every  year  before  the  Feast  of  Pentecost,  Mother  Har- 
dey  sent  her  a  new  dress,  fichu  and  bandana.  Liza  mar- 
ried twice.  Her  second  husband  treated  her  badly,  and 
when,  a  few  weeks  after  their  marriage,  he  disappeared 
with  all  her  belongings,  she  drew  a  sigh  of  relief  and 
thenceforth  devoted  herself  entirely  to  the  service  of  the 
nuns.  She  took  a  vow  to  nurse  all  the  sick  in  the  house. 
The  conditions  were  fulfilled  when  she  washed  their  clothes 
or  remained  with  sick  children  during  Mass  on  Sunday. 
The  heroism  of  her  sacrifice  was  manifested  in  her  attend- 
ance at  the  Mass  in  the  parish  church  among  "  the  common 
folk,"  for  did  she  not  belong  to  the  Sacred  Heart?  The 
renewal  of  her  promise  was  made  with  great  ceremony  every 
year  on  the  Feast  of  Pentecost.  After  receiving  Holy  Com- 
munion in  the  morning,  Liza  came  at  an  appointed  hour 
to  the  Lady  Chapel,  clad  in  her  new  attire,  the  gift  of  her 
beloved  Madame  Aloysia,  and  wearing  a  white  veil  and 
with  a  candle  in  her  hand,  there  before  the  altar,  in  the 
presence  of  the  assembled  community  she  placed  the  for- 
mula of  her  consecration  in  the  hands  of  the  superior,  re- 
questing her  to  read  it  aloud  "  so  all  could  understand  it." 
When  the  superior  had  finished  reading  the  act,  the  Mag- 
nificat was  intoned,  and  during  the  singing  Liza  passed 
around  shaking  hands  and  receiving  congratulations. 

On  one  occasion  the  superior  was  a  foreigner.    For  days 

316 


APPOINTED  ASSISTANT  GENERAL 

previous  to  the  feast  Liza  was  greatly  troubled  in  mind, 
lest  the  reading  should  not  be  properly  made.  At  last  she 
went  herself  to  the  superior  and  asked  to  hear  her  read  the 
act,  so  that  she  might  judge  whether  she  would  be  under- 
stood. The  amiable  Mother  de  Sartorius,  later  the  fourth 
Superior  General  of  the  Society,  entered  fully  into  Liza's 
feelings  on  the  subject,  and  read  the  formula  as  best  she 
could.  Liza  made  her  repeat  certain  words  over  and  over 
again,  so  that  the  proper  emphasis  might  be  given  them. 
At  last  she  seemed  satisfied,  but  just  as  she  was  leaving  the 
room  she  remarked :  "  I  'dvise  you  to  read  it  once  more 
before  one  of  them  children  who  listened  to  it  last  year!  " 
Liza's  letters  are  specimens  of  old  plantation  literature,  that 

is  now  but  rarely  found.     When  Madame  M went  to 

Mexico  to  open  a  house  there,  Liza  became  uneasy  at  her 
prolonged  absence,  so  one  evening  she  called  one  of  the 
religious  to  her  cabin,  told  her  to  light  a  candle  and  write  a 
letter  for  her  to  that  Spanish  town  over  yonder.  Here  is 
what  she  dictated: 

"  DEAR  REVEREND  MOTHER  : 

"  You'se  a  long  time  in  that  Spanish  town,  and  its  time 
now  to  come  home.  You're  needed  here,  for  what's  a  home 
without  a  Mother?  You  don't  know  them  people  over  there, 
and  you'll  get  yourself  into  trouble  with  them.  Instead  of 
coming  home  you're  going  backer  and  backer.  You're  send- 
in'  for  them  children  here  to  go  there  and  soon  you'll  empty 
the  house  here.  I've  begged  the  Sacred  Heart  and  Saint 
Joseph  to  hold  their  arms  over  you,  but  they're  tired  now, 
and  can't  do  it  no  more,  so  take  my  Vice  and  come  home, 
you'se  been  away  long  enough." 

"  You  know,"  she  said  to  the  scribe,  "  that  chile  has  a 
mighty  'tractive  face,  and  she'll  draw  all  them  people  to 
her,  and  they'll  make  her  b'live  they're  going  to  do  much 
and  they  don't  do  nothing." 

This  letter  found  its  way  into  print,  so  with  it  we  close 

317 


MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

the  history  of  Liza,  whose  remains  are  now  peacefully  rest- 
ing in  the  little  cemetery  of  Saint  Michael's. 

Mother  Hardey's  sojourn  at  St.  Michael's  abounded  in 
blessings  for  all ;  for  herself  it  revived  happy  memories  of 
her  early  religious  life,  and  the  varied  joys  and  sorrows 
which  had  left  their  impress  on  the  years  between  1825  and 
1841.  It  would  be  monotonous  to  rehearse  the  benefits 
which  marked  her  passage  in  each  house.  She  took  pains  to 
explain  to  her  daughters  that  she  had  come  simply  to  see 
and  make  known  to  the  Mother  General  what  would  be  of 
service  to  them.  She  had  noted  in  a  little  book,  admirably 
arranged,  whatever  she  deemed  useful  or  necessary  for  each 
house,  so  that  the  good  she  planned  was  realized  later  on, 
and  lived  after  her.  As  Mother  Hardey  desired  to  shorten 
her  trip  to  Grand  Coteau,  she  resolved  to  venture  across 
the  Mississippi  in  a  rowboat.  Hardly  was  the  frail  bark 
midway  in  the  river  when  it  was  caught  in  an  eddy,  the 
water  threatening  to  sweep  over  them.  She  saw  the 
peril  of  the  situation,  yet  neither  word  nor  sign  betrayed 
her  apprehensions,  as  she  sat  with  tranquil  mien  reciting 
over  and  over  again  the  "  Salve  Regina."  The  oarsman 
made  superhuman  efforts  to  keep  on  his  course,  and  when 
they  reached  the  shore  he  thanked  God  for  their  preserva- 
tion, as  only  a  week  before  a  boat  had  been  engulfed  in  that 
fatal  spot. 

Taking  the  train  for  Grand  Coteau,  Mother  Hardey 
found  herself  on  the  way  to  the  home  of  her  childhood,  the 
scenes  of  her  school  days  and  the  cradle  of  her  religious 
life.  Forty-seven  years  had  elapsed  since  the  memorable 
day  of  her  departure  with  Mother  Aude  for  the  foundation 
at  Saint  Michael's.  We  can  well  believe  that  a  nature  so 
strong  in  its  attachments  and  so  sincere  in  its  friendships 
must  have  been  deeply  moved  by  the  sacred  recollections 
that  rose  at  every  turn,  yet  we  are  told  that  save  on  one 
occasion  her  outward  demeanor  showed  no  signs  of 
emotion.  Innumerable  changes  had  taken  place  in  the  con- 

318 


APPOINTED  ASSISTANT  GENERAL 

vent,  giving  evidence  of  years  of  prosperity  in  the  past, 
and  also  of  traces  of  the  blighting  touch  of  war.  Wishing 
to  give  her  an  agreeable  surprise,  the  religious  had  trans- 
formed into  an  oratory  the  room  which  had  served  as  a 
chapel  during  her  school  days,  and  had  been  the  scene  of 
her  consecration  to  God  as  a  novice  of  the  Sacred  Heart. 
The  following  extract  is  taken  from  the  journal  of  the  house : 

"  One  day  Mother  Martinez  invited  the  Reverend 
Mother  Visitatrix  to  visit  the  old  house,  where  her  happy 
school  days  had  been  spent.  She  gladly  acquiesced,  but 
great  was  her  surprise  on  entering  the  corridor  leading  to 
our  improvised  chapel,  to  find  the  community  assembled 
there  and  to  hear  the  joyful  notes  of  the  Magnificat.  For 
a  moment  she  paused,  greatly  affected,  then  passed  into 
the  oratory  and  knelt  on  the  prie-dieu  before  the  altar.  On 
this  occasion  her  emotion  was  visible,  but  when  the  song 
of  thanksgiving  ceased,  she  turned  towards  us  with  her 
usual  composure,  saying :  '  Yes,  it  is  here  that  I  took  the 
veil,  but  in  those  days  we  had  neither  prie-dieu  nor  Mag- 
nificat.' " 

After  a  visit  of  eight  days  to  Grand  Coteau  Mother  Har- 
dey  returned  to  New  Orleans,  and  three  days  later  she  bade 
farewell  to  the  South.  She  arrived  in  Cincinnati  on  June  4, 
eve  of  the  Feast  of  the  Sacred  Heart,  and  that  evening  she 
gave  a  very  impressive  conference  on  the  words,  "  Behold 
this  Heart  which  has  loved  men  so  much !  "  "  Your  best 
reparation,"  she  said,  "  will  be  an  unreserved  devotedness 
to  the  education  of  the  pupils  whom  our  Lord  has  confided 
to  you  to  be  molded  according  to  the  spirit  of  His  Sacred 
Heart."  Touching  upon  the  mission  of  other  Religious 
Orders,  she  remarked,  "  Let  us  emulate  them  by  striving  to 
instil  into  our  children  true  Catholic  principles,  that  the 
spirit  of  the  Sacred  Heart  may  enter  into  their  lives,  and 
enable  them  to  resist  the  spirit  of  the  world,  which  seeks 
to  destroy  in  souls  the  reign  of  Christ !  " 

In    order    to    secure    for    the    community    a    healthful 


MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

change  during  the  summer,  she  rented  a  small  property  in 
the  country  where  they  could  spend  their  vacation.  On  the 
ninth  of  June  she  left  them  with  her  farewell  benediction 
the  counsel,  "  Be  zealous  and  humble  and  God  will  bless 
you  and  your  works." 

The  convents  in  Detroit  and  London,  Ontario,  had  each 
a  visit  of  a  few  days,  and  after  an  absence  of  three  months, 
Mother  Hardey  returned  to  Manhattanville  in  time  to  assist 
at  the  closing  exercises  of  the  scholastic  year.  A  few  days 
afterwards  she  resumed  her  travels,  going  first  to  Kenwood, 
where  her  young  sister  Pauline  received  her  medal  of  gradu- 
ation at  the  commencement  exercises.  Montreal,  St.  John 
and  Halifax  rejoiced  in  seeing  once  more  the  Mother  so 
dearly  loved.  Although  the  steamer  reached  the  harbor  of 
Halifax  at  midnight,  Archbishop  Connolly  was  waiting  to 
welcome  and  accompany  her  to  the  convent.  The  pupils 
had  dispersed  for  the  vacation,  but  as  soon  as  they  heard 
of  her  arrival  they  returned  to  the  convent,  and  in  a  very 
touching  dialogue  expressed  their  joy  and  gratitude  at  meet- 
ing the  Mother  to  whom  they  owed  so  many  blessings. 

Mother  Hardey  was  again  at  Kenwood  on  the  fifteenth 
of  August,  when  she  had  the  happiness  of  admitting  to  the 
novitiate  her  sister  Pauline,  then  nineteen  years  of  age. 
During  this  visit  she  gave  a  conference  to  the  community, 
which  was  an  outpouring  of  maternal  love,  and  a  strong 
exhortation  to  fidelity  to  the  obligations  of  religious  life. 
One  of  her  daughters  thus  describes  her  impressions :  "  It 
was  as  a  novice  that  I  listened  to  that  never  to  be  forgotten 
conference,  on  '  Earnestness  in  the  Service  of  God.'  The 
truths,  the  entreaties,  the  hopes  that  she  expressed,  fell  like 
words  of  fire  upon  my  soul,  and  since  then  have  ruled  and 
shaped  whatever  there  has  been  of  effort  or  of  worth  in  my 
religious  life." 

While  she  was  still  at  Kenwood  Bishop  Hendricken 
came  to  confer  with  Mother  Hardey  on  the  subject  of  a 
foundation  in  Providence.  He  persuaded  her  to  accom- 

320 


APPOINTED  ASSISTANT  GENERAL 

pany  him  thither,  in  order  to  examine  the  handsome  estate 
of  Elmhurst,  which  was  offered  for  sale.  Mother  Hardey 
found  the  property  admirably  adapted  for  an  academy,  and 
she  promised  to  submit  his  request  to  the  Mother  General. 

On  her  return  to  Manhattanville  she  made  out  the  plan 
of  organization  for  the  houses  of  her  vicariate,  and  concluded 
some  important  business  matters  demanding  her  personal 
attention.  The  communities  of  New  York  and  Manhattan- 
ville, comprising  about  one  hundred  and  fifty  religious,  were 
assembled  for  the  vacation.  She  granted  to  each  one  a 
private  interview,  and  at  the  close  of  the  annual  retreat  ad- 
dressed to  her  reunited  families  the  farewell  counsels  in- 
spired by  her  affection  and  zeal.  Who  can  fail  to  realize  that 
it  would  have  comforted  her  heart  to  communicate  to  her 
daughters,  at  least  to  those  most  intimately  associated 
with  her,  that  a  separation  was  at  hand,  which  was  to  be 
broken  only,  if  at  all,  for  brief  periods  and  at  distant  in- 
tervals of  time? 

In  guarding  the  secret  of  her  sacrifice,  Mother  Hardey 
denied  herself  the  consolation  which  the  love  of  her  daugh- 
ters would  have  offered,  but  she  looked  only  to  the  Divine 
Friend,  and  in  His  loving  Heart  found  strength  to  bear 
her  heavy  cross  alone.  Her  silence  and  simplicity  fill  us 
with  admiration,  yet,  as  if  under  the  influence  of  her  own 
reserve,  it  is  an  admiration  that  turns  in  praise  to  Him  who 
formed  in  Mother  Hardey  a  heart  so  like  His  own.  She 
embarked  for  France  with  her  secretary  and  two  postulants 
for  the  Conflans  Novitiate  on  the  eleventh  of  September, 
leaving  to  her  daughters  the  example  of  her  entire  self- 
forgetfulness,  "  as  a  lamp  to  their  feet,  and  a  light  to  their 
path,"  while  they  walk  in  the  way  to  heaven. 


21  321 


CHAPTER   XXV. 

MOTHER  HARDEY  ASSISTANT  GENERAL  IN  PARIS — FOUNDA- 
TION OF  ELMHURST,  PROVIDENCE — VISIT  TO  AMERICA — 
RETURN  TO  FRANCE — APOSTOLIC  SCHOOL — 1872-1876. 

The  appointment  of  Mother  Hardey  to  the  office  of 
Assistant  General  was  announced  by  Mother  Goetz  in  a 
Circular  Letter  to  all  the  convents,  in  the  beginning  of 
October.  We  quote  the  following  extract :  "  I  feel  keenly 
the  sacrifice  which  the  withdrawal  of  Mother  Hardey  will 
impose  on  the  houses  that  have  been  long  the  special  object 
of  her  solicitude;  but  in  calling  her  to  the  centre  of  the 
Society,  I  have  had  in  view  the  welfare  of  all  our  houses  in 
America.  Being  thoroughly  acquainted  with  their  re- 
sources and  necessities,  she  will  represent  their  interests  in 
our  councils,  and  will  follow  with  us  the  development  of 
their  works.  Thus  will  she  continue  the  mission  of  de- 
votedness,  the  effects  of  which  all  have  experienced  during 
the  course  of  this  year." 

The  news  of  Mother  Hardey's  permanent  transfer  to 
Paris  filled  her  daughters  with  consternation  and  grief,  yet 
their  loyal  acceptance  of  the  decision  showed  how  truly  they 
had  profited  by  her  life-long  example  of  submission  to  the 
voice  of  authority.  Numerous  letters  were  sent  to  the 
Mother  General  voicing  the  sentiments  of  her  American 
families.  We  quote  the  following  from  the  Mother  Assist- 
ant at  Manhattanville :  "We  were  far  from  expecting  the 
painful  trial  which  the  Heart  of  Jesus  has  imposed  upon  us. 
It  was  difficult  to  believe  the  words  of  your  letter,  my  Very 
Reverened  Mother,  that  you  are  going  to  keep  our  Rev- 
erend Mother  Hardey  with  you.  However,  I  repress  all 
that  our  hearts  feel  at  the  prospect  of  this  separation ! 
The  community  have  shown  a  true  religious  spirit,  in  their 
submission  to  the  decision  of  obedience  and  have  proved 

322 


ASSISTANT  GENERAL  IN  PARIS 

themselves  worthy  of  the  Mother  whom  they  so  justly 
mourn.  It  is  not  merely  a  superior  to  whose  guidance  we 
were  confided,  that  we  weep  over;  it  is  a  mother  who  has 
watched  over  our  early  religious  life,  soothing  our  sor- 
rows, and  smoothing  our  difficulties,  a  consoling  Angel  who 
was  ever  near  to  give  us  strength  and  courage  to  persevere, 
in  spite  of  every  obstacle.  But  with  the  example  of  her 
abnegation  and  spirit  of  sacrifice  before  us,  how  could  we 
hesitate  to  obey.  Her  own  heart  must  feel  the  sacrifice  of 
her  daughters  and  her  country,  but  we  know  her  grand, 
noble  soul  too  well  to  believe  that  she  will  ever  mani- 
fest her  feelings.  We  also  must  make  our  sacrifice  cour- 
ageously, for  were  we  to  consider  our  personal  loss,  we 
should  be  unworthy  of  the  example  which  our  beloved 
Mother  has  constantly  given  us.  The  thought  that  we  are 
laboring  in  union  with  her  will  stimulate  us  in  overcoming 
all  obstacles." 

It  was  thus  that  Mother  Hardey's  daughters  struggled 
against  the  promptings  of  their  own  hearts ;  they  laid  at  the 
feet  of  their  Mother  General  the  "  Fiat,"  which  was  the  most 
agreeable  tribute  of  gratitude  they  could  render  to  the 
Mother  whose  loss  they  so  justly  mourned.  Painful  as 
the  separation  was,  they  learned  by  degrees  to  appreciate  the 
blessings  which  the  presence  of  their  Mother  at  the  centre 
of  the  Society  secured  for  them  and  their  works.  The  one 
most  appreciated  was  the  privilege  enjoyed  by  the  younger 
religious  of  making  their  probation  and  profession  at  the 
Mother  House,  and  of  acquiring  at  the  fountain  source  the 
true  spirit  of  the  Society,  which  they  in  turn  would  trans- 
mit to  their  successors.  In  the  beginning  of  Mother  Har- 
dey's sojourn  in  Paris,  there  was  little  to  vary  the  monotony 
of  her  daily  life.  As  writing  was  impossible  on  account  of 
her  paralyzed  hand,  her  extensive  correspondence  was  dic- 
tated, or  given  in  notes  to  her  secretary,  hence,  apart  from 
the  community  exercises,  her  days  were  divided  chiefly  be- 
tween prayer  and  reading,  but  her  inaction  was  no  less 

323 


MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

fruitful  for  the  glory  of  God  and  the  good  of  souls,  since 
recompense  is  proportioned  to  merit,  and  true  merit  is  found 
in  a  will  submissive  to  that  of  God. 

The  Mothers  who  surrounded  her  were  deeply  impressed 
by  that  profound  calm,  that  apparent  forgetfulness  of  the 
power  she  had  wielded  and  the  honor  in  which  she  had  been 
held  in  the  wide  sphere  of  her  apostolate.  Never  by  word 
or  look  did  she  testify  the  least  regret.  Though  she  held  in 
faithful  remembrance  the  needs  of  her  American  families, 
and  continued  to  watch  over  the  souls  she  had  guided,  and 
the  works  which  were  the  outgrowth  of  her  devotedness 
and  zeal,  she  gave  herself  entirely  to  the  duties  of  the  new 
position  in  which  God  had  placed  her.  Mother  Goetz  soon 
learned  to  appreciate  the  worth  of  her  new  Assistant,  and 
sought  to  profit  by  her  experience  and  her  judgment  in 
determining  matters  of  importance. 

In  the  month  of  January,  1873,  Mother  Hardey  was  re- 
placed as  Vicar  by  Rev.  Mother  Jones,  so  well  known  and 
appreciated  by  both  religious  and  pupils.  Her  government 
was  a  faithful  copy  of  that  of  the  Mother  to  whom  she  was 
so  loyally  attached.  She  started  the  foundation  of  Elm- 
hurst,  for  which  Mother  Hardey  had  obtained  Mother 
Goetz's  permission,  in  January,  1873,  and  shortly  after  took 
up  her  residence  at  Manhattanville. 

In  a  previous  chapter  we  mentioned  with  what  pleasure 
Mother  Hardey  had  opened  a  foundation  in  Maryland,  and 
the  difficulties  which  soon  threatened  its  existence.  The 
privation  of  spiritual  help  still  continuing,  it  was  decided 
to  close  Rosecroft  and  transfer  the  community  to  Elmhurst. 
The  following  letter  from  Archbishop  Bayley  was  received 
too  late  to  avert  the  decree  of  suppression : 

"  BALTIMORE,  Oct.  17,  1873. 
"  MY  DEAR  MADAME  HARDEY  : 

"  You  must  excuse  me  for  troubling  you  about  our 
affairs  here,  but  I  want  you  to  beg  the  Mother  General  not 

324 


ASSISTANT  GENERAL  IN  PARIS 

to  allow  the  establishment  at  Rosecroft  to  be  broken  up. 
I  regard  it  as  a  very  important  matter  in  the  interests  of 
religion,  especially  in  that  part  of  the  state,  that  it  should 
be  maintained  and  permanently  established.  You  know 
how  much  the  Catholics  in  the  southern  counties  have  suf- 
fered, and  how  neglected  they  are.  Rosecroft  is  a  great 
comfort  to  them.  The  very  fact  of  the  presence  of  a  body 
of  religious  ladies  there,  even  if  they  had  no  school,  would 
serve,  and  does  serve,  to  keep  up  the  tone  of  things  and  do 
great  good.  But  in  fact  their  school  is  getting  along  very 
well.  The  place  is  beautiful  and  perfectly  healthy;  some 
of  the  ladies  who  went  there  in  poor  health  are  now  quite 
well.  Then  it  is,  historically,  a  most  interesting  place,  one 
of  the  outposts  of  Catholicity,  and  I  should  feel  ashamed  to 
have  it  given  up,  as  if  we  had  retreated  before  the  'enemy. 
Now  what  I  want,  as  I  have  already  said,  is  for  you  to  beg 
of  the  Rev.  Mother  General,  in  my  name,  and  as  a  special 
favor  which  I  ask  of  her,  in  the  name  of  our  Blessed  Lord, 
not  to  break  up  the  place.  I  was,  as  you  remember,  one  of 
your  first  chaplains  in  New  York.  I  was  the  cause  of  your 
obtaining  Manhattanville,  and  I  think  I  have  always  taken 
a  lively  interest  in  your  Institution.  I  believe  I  have  a  right 
to  ask  a  favor.  Rosecroft  is  a  place  that  will  draw  a  blessing 
upon  you,  because  it  is  a  humble  work  that  does  good,  as  it 
were,  in  secret.  I  could  say  a  great  deal  more  about  the 
matter,  but  it  is  not  necessary. 

"  Please  present  my  most  profound  respects  to  the 
Mother  General  and  believe  me  to  be,  my  dear  Madame, 
with  sincere  regard, 

"  Your  devoted  and  sincere  friend, 

"  JAMES  ROOSEVELT  BAYLEY. 

"Abp.  of  Baltimore." 

It  may  seem  strange  to  our  readers  that  this  heartfelt  ap- 
peal from  the  Archbishop  failed  to  secure  the  desired  effect. 
The  reasons  are  given  in  Mother  Hardey's  reply  to  the 
Archbishop:  ,2c 


MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

"  PARIS,  November  7,  1873. 
"  MOST  REV.  FATHER  : 

"  Under  other  circumstances,  a  letter  from  your  Grace 
would  have  been  heartily  welcome,  but  the  thought  of  the 
disappointment  which  my  answer  will  cause  you,  mars  all 
the  pleasure  of  its  receipt.  Rev.  Mother  Jones  must  have 
already  informed  you  that  Rosecroft's  fate  was  sealed  before 
your  letter  or  hers  reached  me.  How  could  I  plead  for  its 
existence,  dear  Archbishop,  when  aware  of  the  many  priva- 
tions our  little  community  have  suffered  and  would  still  be 
exposed  to  suffer?  The  appointment  of  an  aged  chaplain, 
who  is  authorized  to  offer  the  Holy  Sacrifice  only  four  times 
a  week  at  the  convent,  and  on  condition  that  his  colleague 
is  not  absent  (and  health  and  weather  permitting),  far  from 
offering  any  security  for  the  future,  is  another  proof  of  the 
serious  inconveniences  to  which  the  community  would 
always  be  more  or  less  subject  in  their  present  location.  I 
can  assure  you  that  our  good  Mother  General  deplores  even 
more  than  I  do,  the  necessity  of  withdrawing  our  religious 
from  Rosecroft,  for  nothing  would  give  her  greater  pleasure 
than  to  have  the  Sacred  Heart  established  in  the  archdiocese 
of  Baltimore,  if  it  were  only  under  more  favorable  circum- 
stances. 

"  With  deepest  gratitude,  I  recall  our  early  days  in  New 
York,  when  you  were  truly  our  friend,  and  the  remembrance 
of  your  constant  devotedness  will  never  be  effaced  from  my 
mind. 

"  Recommending  myself  to  your  prayers  and  presenting 
Mother  General's  best  respects,  I  remain,  Most  Reverend 
Father,  with  profound  esteem, 

"  Most  respectfully  and  faithfully  in  C.  J., 

"  A.  HARDEY,  R.  S.  C.  J." 

The  brief  sojourn  of  the  Religious  of  the  Sacred  Heart 
on  the  historic  banks  of  the  Saint  Mary's  River  had  not 

326 


ASSISTANT  GENERAL  IN  PARIS 

been  fruitless  for  the  glory  of  God.  Of  the  pupils  educated 
there,  some  are  exerting  an  influence  for  good  in  their  social 
circles,  handing  down  to  a  new  generation  the  teachings 
which  they  received  in  their  convent  home ;  others  are  serv- 
ing God  in  various  Religious  Orders,  a  good  proportion  as 
Religious  of  the  Sacred  Heart.  When  the  transfer  was 
made  to  Elmhurst  about  fifteen  of  the  boarders  accompanied 
their  mistresses  thither. 

Mother  Goetz,  appreciating  the  sterling  qualities  of  her 
new  Assistant,  resolved  that  her  wide  experience  should  be 
turned  to  account  for  the  welfare  of  the  French  houses.  For 
this  purpose  she  sent  her  to  visit  several  of  the  convents. 
Mother  Hardey's  first  journey  was  to  Orleans,  where  she 
had  the  happiness  of  meeting  again  her  old  friend  and 
daughter  Mother  Jouve.  We  find  in  one  of  her  letters  to 
Mother  Barat  the  following  passage,  which  shows  how 
much  she  felt  the  loss  of  this  good  Mother,  when  sent 
to  the  Southern  Vicariate :  "  She  was  my  confidant,  my  only 
support;  I  could  not  make  a  greater  sacrifice  than  that  of 
losing  her,  but,  my  venerable  Mother,  say  only  the  word 
and  I  will  give  you  all  the  others."  This  visit  was  a  mutual 
consolation  for  the  two  friends  and  a  great  pleasure  for  the 
Orleans  community,  so  happy  to  make  the  acquaintance  of 
the  American  Assistant  General. 

In  the  month  of  May  the  ill  health  of  Mother  Goetz 
necessitated  a  visit  to  the  south  of  France,  and  she  took 
Mother  Hardey  with  her  to  Pau,  in  the  Pyrenees,  where 
a  foundation  had  been  recently  made.  Mother  Har- 
dey devoted  herself  to  lighten  the  burden  of  her  Superior 
General  in  every  way  possible,  and  she  was  the  life  of  the 
recreations,  relating  in  the  most  charming  way  amusing  and 
interesting  anecdotes  which  sometimes  brought  tears  of 
laughter  to  Mother  Goetz's  eyes,  even  when  her  suffering 
was  intense.  An  unlocked  for  blessing  was  granted  them  in 
a  pilgrimage  to  Lourdes.  As  the  restrictions  of  enclosure 
were  not  yet  fully  enforced  the  Bishop  of  Bayonne  made 

327 


MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

them  visit  Lourdes  to  plead  for  the  restoration  of  the  health 
of  Mother  Goetz,  whose  condition  gave  cause  for  alarm. 

It  afforded  the  pilgrims  unspeakable  joy  to  pray  on  the 
spot  once  hallowed  by  the  visible  presence  of  the  Immacu- 
late Virgin,  and  to  witness  the  spectacle  of  devout  throngs 
drawn  thither  by  their  unbounded  trust  in  the  power  of  our 
Lady  of  Lourdes.  Mother  Hardey's  most  fervent  petitions 
were  in  behalf  of  the  Mother  General,  but  the  latter  was  not 
inspired  to  ask  for  a  prolongation  of  life,  her  aspirations  all 
turned  heavenward.  However,  the  prayers  of  her  daugh- 
ters obtained  an  amelioration  of  her  sufferings,  and  Mother 
Hardey  had  the  consolation  of  bringing  her  back  to  Paris 
much  improved  in  health.  The  respite  from  pain  was,  how- 
ever, of  short  duration.  Worn  out  prematurely  by  excessive 
work  and  suffering,  Mother  Goetz  expired  on  January  4, 
1874.  Her  death  was  deeply  felt  by  Mother  Hardey,  who 
had  become  very  much  attached  to  her.  Mother  Lehon  was 
elected  third  Superior  General,  May  6,  1874. 

One  of  Mother  Lehon's  first  acts  was  to  send  Mother 
Hardey  to  America  to  attend  to  business  matters  of  great 
importance  for  the  Manhattanville  property.  Early  in 
July  Mother  Hardey  left  Paris,  and  her  arrival  in  New 
York  was  hailed  with  unbounded  joy  by  her  religious 
families  and  devoted  friends.  The  two  years  of  separation 
were  forgotten  in  the  happiness  of  her  presence,  as  each 
house  in  the  vicariate  welcomed  the  Mother  so  dearly  loved. 
She  took  pains  to  impress  upon  her  daughters  that  her  mis- 
sion to  America  was  to  make  known  and  revered  the  new 
Superior  General ;  the  task  was  an  easy  one,  we  may  well 
believe,  since  this  Very  Rev.  Mother  had  given  such  a  strik- 
ing proof  of  her  love  for  her  American  families. 

A  painful  accident  somewhat  marred  the  joy  of  this 
visit.  In  January,  1875,  while  calling  to  see  one  of  the 
pupils  in  the  Manhattanville  infirmary,  a  vessel  of  boil- 
ing oil,  which  was  near  "the  bed  of  the  little  sufferer,  was 
upset  on  Mother  Hardey's  foot,  burning  it  to  the  bone ;  but 

328 


1  Convent  Elmhurst,  Providence,  R.  1. 

2  Former  Convent,  Massachusetts  Ave.,  Boaton 


ASSISTANT  GENERAL  IN  PARIS 

although  the  pain  was  excruciating,  with  her  usual  self- 
possession,  she  would  not  move  until  cloths  had  been 
brought  to  wipe  off  the  oil,  so  that  her  foot  might  not  stain 
the  couch  prepared  to  receive  her.  This  accident  kept  her 
confined  to  her  room  for  several  weeks,  but  she  utilized  this 
period  of  inaction  in  making  the  acquaintance  of  the 
younger  members  of  the  community,  to  whom  she  gave 
counsels  of  instruction  and  encouragement,  bestowing  on 
them  special  marks  of  maternal  interest.  Mother  Hardey's 
words  of  advice  were  few,  but  always  to  the  point.  They 
have  been  treasured  by  her  daughters  and  collected  in  a 
little  book  of  Maxims,  which  will  serve  to  perpetuate  her 
memory  to  succeeding  generations. 

It  was  during  this  visit  to  America  that  she  established 
the  Tabernacle  Society,  in  connection  with  the  Sodality  of 
the  Children  of  Mary.  Having  been  invited  to  preside  at  one 
of  the  meetings,  she  spoke  to  the  ladies  of  the  good  accom- 
plished by  the  society  in  the  European  convents  and  urged 
upon  them  to  come  to  the  relief  of  poor  churches  by  devot- 
ing their  time  and  their  money  to  the  making  of  vestments 
and  altar  linen.  The  suggestion  at  first  met  with  opposition, 
as  the  interests  of  the  Society  centred  in  their  efforts  to  re- 
lieve the  poor,  as  far  as  their  resources  would  permit,  but 
she  was  not  discouraged.  With  a  limited  number  who  en- 
tered into  her  views,  she  opened  the  first  sewing  meeting, 
having  supplied  the  materials  and  confided  the  direction 
of  the  work  to  Madame  Lieber,  a  religious  fully  competent 
to  insure  its  success.  She  continued  to  assist  at  the  weekly 
reunions,  until  she  felt  that  it  was  established  upon  a  per- 
manent basis.  The  Annual  Reports  of  the  Society  show  its 
marvelous  growth,  and  the  vast  extension  of  its  benefits  to 
needy  missions. 

In  March,  1875,  Archbishop  McCloskey  was  raised  to 
the  dignity  of  the  Cardinalate,  to  the  great  joy  of  the  Amer- 
ican Catholics.  Celebrations  of  a  social  and  religious  char- 
acter followed  and,  before  the  close  of  April,  Manhattan- 

329 


MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

ville  became  the  scene  of  an  ovation  in  honor  of  his  Emi- 
nence. In  the  address,  delivered  by  one  of  the  pupils,  a 
vivid  picture  was  presented  of  the  struggles  and  triumphs 
of  the  Church  in  America,  "  since  the  day  when  the  op- 
pressor's hand  was  lifted  from  the  nation's  heart,  and  from 
the  heart  of  the  Bride  of  Christ  we  look  fondly  back,"  said 
the  speaker,  "  to  that  day  of  small  beginnings,  heroic  deeds, 
blessings  granted,  and  dangers  passed.  Ah !  well  may  we 
blend  religion's  note  of  praise  with  our  country's  triumphant 
song,  for  in  the  glad  retrospect  we  see  but  the  shining  links 
of  hope  fulfilled,  of  brave  endeavors  crowned,  of  sacred 
memories  which  have  blossomed  and  borne  their  golden 
fruit." 

In  replying  to  the  filial  expressions  offered  him  Cardinal 
McCloskey  said,  with  characteristic  grace  and  suavity, 
that  a  part  of  the  history  of  the  past  was  left  for  him  to 
retrace,  that  of  recounting  the  works  of  Mother  Hardey 
and  her  daughters,  since  the  day  of  "  small  beginnings  "  for 
the  Society  of  the  Sacred  Heart  in  the  Archdiocese  of  New 
York.  The  delicate  allusions  of  his  Eminence  to  Mother 
Hardey's  share  in  the  good  accomplished  called  forth  an 
outburst  of  applause  from  the  reverend  clergymen  present, 
and  it  was  some  minutes  before  the  general  enthusiasm  sub- 
sided. The  event  left  an  unfading  memory ;  but  even  amid 
the  joys  of  the  occasion,  hearts  were  sorrowing,  for  the 
Mother,  so  worthily  honored,  was  soon  to  leave  for  her  dis- 
tant home. 

On  the  twentieth  of  April  she  bade  farewell,  her  own 
heart  weighed  down  by  the  additional  sacrifice  of  leaving 
behind  her  the  faithful  secretary  and  companion  of  her 
travels  for  nearly  a  decade  of  years,  and  as  the  steamer  was 
slowly  receding  from  the  shore,  she  clasped  the  hand  of  her 
new  secretary  with  maternal  goodness,  and  in  silent  sym- 
pathy as  if  to  say,  "  Let  us  be  generous  in  our  sacrifice." 
On  her  return  to  France  Mother  Hardey  became  greatly 
interested  in  the  founding  there  of  a  good  work,  known 

330 


ASSISTANT  GENERAL  IN  PARIS 

as  "  Oeuvre  des  Apostoliques,"  or  Apostolic  Schools.  Its 
object  was  to  provide  for  the  education  of  young  girls  who 
desired  to  embrace  the  religious  state,  but  whose  families 
were  unable  to  defray  the  expenses  of  their  education. 
Mother  Hardey's  design  was  to  educate  subjects,  not  only 
for  her  own  Institute,  but  for  any  of  the  Congregations  de- 
voted to  the  instruction  of  youth.  For  this  end  she  sent  a 
certain  number  of  young  girls  to  the  convent  at  Beauvais, 
and  they  became  in  very  truth  her  adopted  children.  She 
provided  for  their  needs,  rejoiced  in  their  success,  and  en- 
couraged their  efforts  to  prepare  themselves  for  their  ex- 
alted mission.  Funds  were  needed,  however,  to  carry  on 
the  good  work,  so  she  applied  to  the  houses  in  New  York 
to  assist  her  in  raising  the  required  amount. 

"  I  cannot  tell  you,"  she  wrote,  "  how  much  I  take  this 
work  to  heart,  nor  how  truly  I  shall  appreciate  your  efforts 
to  contribute  to  its  support."  She  suggested  a  variety  of 
ways  by  which  aid  might  be  secured,  and  accepted  with 
grateful  joy  every  gift  that  could  be  utilized  for  her 
cherished  enterprise.  In  the  selection  of  the  applicants 
Mother  Hardey  was  sometimes  deceived,  for  several  young 
girls  on  the  completion  of  their  studies  relinquished  their 
aspirations  for  a  higher  life,  and  a  few  even  caused  keen 
sorrow  to  their  benefactress.  Though  her  plans  were  never 
fully  realized,  she  persevered  in  carrying  on  the  good  work 
and  had  the  consolation  of  knowing  that  over  twenty  of 
her  dear  "  Apostoliques "  had  devoted  themselves  to  the 
service  of  God  in  various  religious  orders. 


331 


CHAPTER   XXVI. 

MOTHER  HARDEY  VISITS  HOUSES  IN   SPAIN — HER   GOLDEN 
JUBILEE — SECOND  VISIT  TO  AMERICA — 1876-1878. 

As  Mother  Hardey  was  familiar  with  Spanish,  she  was 
sent  by  the  Mother  General,  in  1876,  to  visit  the  convents 
in  Spain.  She  left  Paris  with  her  secretary  on  the  nine- 
teenth of  February,  and  after  a  brief  halt  at  several  of  the 
houses  in  France,  arrived  at  Perpignan,  where  they  took  the 
diligence  which  was  to  convey  them  across  the  Pyrenees, 
"  Reverend  Mother  was  so  enchanted  with  the  grand  spec- 
tacle of  the  mountains,"  writes  her  secretary,  "  that  she  for- 
got the  fatigue  of  the  journey,  but  I  think  her  heart  was  all 
the  time  lifted  up  in  prayer,  and  even  on  the  heights  of  the 
Pyrenees  the  sad  story  of  a  lost  cause  enlisted  her  deepest 
sympathy.  The  army  of  Don  Carlos  had  just  surrendered, 
and  detachments  of  the  conquered  troops  passed  us  on  the 
way,  fleeing  across  the  frontier  to  seek  refuge  in  France,  or 
some  other  foreign  country.  Spain  was  in  a  state  of  political 
agitation  and  a  rigid  inspection  of  luggage  was  therefore 
enforced  on  the  frontier  village  of  Jungera,  but  our  trunks 
were  not  opened,  owing  to  the  kind  intervention  of  our  trav- 
eling companions,  chief  among  whom  was  an  officer  in  the 
army  of  King  Alphonso.  Whenever  a  halt  occurred  in  the 
journey  he  was  at  her  side  to  offer  assistance,  and  seeing 
this  other  officials  pressed  forward  with  added  courtesies. 

"On  arriving  at  the  hotel  in  Figueras  we  were  conducted 
to  the  handsomest  apartment,  and  served  as  travelers  of 
the  highest  distinction.  The  next  day  we  heard  that  Rev- 
erend Mother  was  believed  to  be  Queen  Christina  trav- 
eling in  disguise,  and  so  the  honors  she  received  were  marks 
of  respect  intended  for  the  grandmother  of  the  Spanish 
King.  She  reached  Barcelona  on  the  twenty-eighth  of  Feb- 
ruary, and  was  joyfully  welcomed  at  Sarria  by  Mother  Al- 

332 


VISITS  HOUSES  IN  SPAIN 

entado,  one  of  her  former  daughters  in  Cuba  and  Manhat- 
tanville.  Mgr.  Lluck,  Bishop  of  Barcelona,  whom  she  had 
known  in  Cuba,  hastened  to  join  his  greetings  to  those  of 
the  family  of  Sarria,  saying,  it  afforded  him  great  pleasure 
to  meet  in  Spain  one  who  had  done  so  much  good  for  the 
interests  of  religion  in  the  New  World." 

After  a  visit  of  three  days  she  went  to  Saragossa  to  open 
a  house  in  that  city.  The  account  of  the  share  which  she 
took  in  the  inconveniences  attendant  upon  a  foundation, 
reads  like  a  page  from  the  annals  of  her  houses  in  America. 
She  was  most  earnest  in  her  exhortations  to  the  commu- 
nity to  rejoice  because  all  around  them  was  a  silent  in- 
vitation to  love  and  honor  holy  poverty.  The  journal  of  the 
house  records  that  the  pupils  were  delighted  with  the  nov- 
elty of  meeting  an  American  Mother,  and  were  deeply 
impressed  by  her  great  kindness  and  interest  in  their  wel- 
fare. From  Saragossa  she  went  to  Madrid,  where  she  vis- 
ited the  palace  of  the  Duke  of  Pastrana,  as  there  was  ques- 
tion of  establishing  a  second  convent  in  that  city.  Seeing 
she  was  much  pleased  with  the  property  His  Highness 
graciously  presented  it  as  a  gift  to  the  Society,  and  the  fol- 
lowing year  the  foundation  was  made.  In  a  short  time  this 
establishment  became  the  centre  of  numerous  good  works. 

"  Returning  to  Sarria,"  continues  the  secretary,  "  we 
passed  near  Manresa  and  made  a  pilgrimage  in  spirit  to  the 
spot  sacred  to  the  memory  of  Saint  Ignatius.  An  incident 
of  this  part  of  our  journey  alarmed  me  greatly.  A  man 
wearing  the  uniform  of  a  cavalry  officer,  revolver  and  sword 
at  his  side,  forced  his  way  into  the  coach  reserved  for  us. 
His  sinister  glances  seemed  to  imply  that  he  was  no  friend 
of  religious.  I  remarked  in  an  undertone  to  Rev.  Mother 
that  the  weapons  he  carried  must  have  dealt  many  a  fatal 
blow.  What  was  my  astonishment  to  hear  him  mutter  in 
English  a  comment  on  my  words.  I  was  terribly  frightened, 
but  Rev.  Mother  kept  her  usual  composure,  though  she 
afterwards  acknowledged  she  had  been  somewhat  afraid. 

333 


MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

It  was  then  dark,  but  providentially  we  soon  came  to  a  halt 
and  a  party  of  English  tourists  entered  and  were  our  travel- 
ling companions  for  the  rest  of  the  journey.  Before  our 
departure  from  Sarria  the  children  of  Mary  of  Barcelona 
assembled  at  the  convent  to  offer  Rev.  Mother  their  good 
wishes  and  present  her  with  some  handsome  gifts  for  the 
altar,  as  a  memento  of  her  visit  to  Spain.  On  the  twenty- 
seventh  of  March,  after  the  choir  had  sung  Quid  Retribuum 
in  thanksgiving  for  the  blessings  of  this  visitation,  we  start- 
ed on  our  homeward  journey." 

Many  beautiful  testimonies  to  Mother  Hardey's  worth 
show  that  her  character  was  appreciated,  and  her  kindness 
held  in  grateful  memory  by  the  religious  in  Spain.  "  I  shall 
never  forget,"  writes  one,  "  that  great  simplicity  and  strong 
religious  spirit  which  Mother  Hardey  united  in  so  high  a 
degree.  There  appeared  in  her  two  qualities,  which  at  first 
seem  contradictory,  a  childlike  candor,  with  the  intelligence 
and  experience  of  age,  and  the  ripest  virtues.  She  made  our 
recreations  delightful,  as  she  spoke  of  America,  of  Havana, 
of  our  Mother  General,  and  the  '  dear  Centre.' " 

Another  says :  "  I  had  long  known  Mother  Hardey  by 
reputation,  having  heard  of  the  impression  she  made  in 
Havana.  Once  a  Mexican  gentleman,  while  praising  her 
great  qualities,  said  to  me,  '  If  Madame  Hardey  were  only 
the  Minister  of  our  poor  distracted  country,  how  soon  she 
would  restore  order  there.'  Another  writer,  referring  to 
her  extraordinary  memory,  says :  '  A  former  pupil  of  the 
Havana  convent  then  a  religious  in  Spain,  expressed  her  joy 
at  meeting  our  Reverend  Mother,  who,  recognizing  her, 
addressed  her  by  the  familiar  name  she  had  borne  in  her 
family  and  made  inquiries  for  her  sisters.'  Many  were 
impressed  by  the  affability  and  gaiety  of  her  conversation 
and  the  spontaneity  with  which  she  introduced  at  short  in- 
tervals a  thought  that  lifted  the  heart  to  God,  and  all  found 
her  eager  to  render  a  service,  when  it  was  in  her  power 
to  do  so." 

334 


VISITS  HOUSES  IN  SPAIN 

On  her  return  to  France  she  stopped  at  Perpignan  and 
assisted  at  a  meeting  of  the  Children  of  Mary,  who  had 
prepared  for  the  occasion  a  display  of  their  work  for  poor 
Churches.  She  examined  the  exposition  with  marked  inter- 
est and  made  notes  of  certain  features  which  might  prove 
suggestive  to  the  Children  of  Mary  in  New  York.  After  a 
brief  visit  to  the  convents  of  Toulouse,  Bordeaux  and  Poi- 
tiers, she  reached  Paris  on  April  4,  after  an  absence  of  seven 
weeks.  In  the  month  of  May  she  received  news  from  Man- 
hattanville  of  the  sudden  death  of  her  young  sister,  Madame 
Pauline  Hardey,  a  novice,  whose  health  had  given  cause  for 
uneasiness,  though  there  was  no  serious  apprehension  of 
danger.  When  the  cable  came  announcing  the  sad  news 
it  was  a  great  shock  to  her,  but  the  sorrow  was  accepted 
with  that  profound  submission  to  the  will  of  God,  which  she 
manifested  in  every  circumstance  of  her  life.  As  in  all 
such  trials  she  went  to  the  chapel,  passed  an  hour  with  the 
Divine  Consoler,  and  then  quietly  returned  to  her  accus- 
tomed duties.  To  those  who  offered  sympathy  she  calmly 
said :  "  Lena's  death  is  not  a  cause  for  sorrow,  but  rather 
for  joy,  for  I  know  she  is  now  united  to  the  Society  in 
Heaven." 

During  July  she  accompanied  Mother  Lehon  in  her 
visits  to  the  houses  in  Brittany,  going  first  to  Saint  Brieux, 
to  assist  at  the  dedication  of  the  new  convent  church, 
thence  to  Rennes  and  Laval,  and  finally  to  Quimper.  The 
annual  letters  of  these  houses  mention  in  glowing  terms 
the  impression  given  by  her  affability  and  devotedness  to 
the  Society.  During  the  Christmas  holidays  she  contracted 
a  severe  cold,  which  resulted  in  gastric  fever  and  kept  her 
confined  to  her  room  during  the  winter,  but  she  had  re- 
covered sufficiently  to  assist  at  the  celebration  of  her  golden 
jubilee  of  first  vows,  on  March  15,  1876.  Mother  Lehon 
expressed  her  desire  that  the  event  should  be  fittingly  com- 
memorated, and  as  Mother  Hardey  was  now  well  known 
in  Europe,  the  jubilee  was  of  general  interest  throughout 

335 


MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

the  Society.  The  preparations  went  on  so  quietly  that  the 
beloved  jubilarian  believed  the  day  would  happily  pass 
unnoticed.  Her  surprise  was  therefore  very  great  when,  on 
the  evening  of  the  fourteenth,  Mother  Lehon  presented 
her  with  eleven  cablegrams  from  America.  Her  first  ex- 
clamation was,  "  All  this  money  wasted."  The  following 
are  some  of  the  messages  received : 

"  Warmest  congratulations  and  blessing. — Cardinal  Mc- 
Closkey." 

"  United  by  love  and  gratitude,  America  and  France  hail 
your  Golden  Jubilee.  Fifty  years  of  virtue,  sacrifice  and 
noble  works  will  ever  shed  lustre  on  the  name  of  Madame 
Hardey. — Bishop  Conroy." 

"  Congratulations  from  all,  and  fifty  Masses  from  Rev- 
erend Friends." 

"  Heartfelt  congratulations  and  earnest  wishes  for  every 
blessing. — J.  L.  Spalding." 

"  We  sing  the  glories  of  thy  fifty  years ! — Professor  Car- 
mody." 

"  Your  children's  hearts  are  with  you. — New  York  Chil- 
dren of  Mary." 

"  Respectful  congratulations  from  your  loving  children. 
— the  pupils  of  Manhattanville." 

"  The  love  and  gratitude  of  Kenwood  blend  in  the  heart- 
felt greeting  your  children  send. — Kenwood  pupils." 

The  American  probationists  having  arrived  about  the 
end  of  February,  all  the  vicariates  were  represented  except 
Louisiana.  By  request  of  the  Mother  General  Rev.  Mother 
Jouve,  the  former  Vicar  of  Louisiana,  was  present  from 
Orleans  at  the  celebration.  All  enjoyed  Mother  Hardey's 
surprise  at  seeing  her.  The  American  novices  from  Con- 
flans  and  the  American  pupils  at  the  rue  de  Varennes  were 
present  at  the  Mass  next  morning.  At  nine  o'clock  there 
was  a  grand  family  reunion  in  the  probation  hall.  Mother 

336 


VISITS  HOUSES  IN  SPAIN 

Hardey  was  deeply  moved  by  the  address  in  French,  but 
when  the  "  Greeting  from  America  "  was  read  by  an  Amer- 
ican probationist,  she  could  not  restrain  her  tears,  At  the 
conclusion  of  the  address  another  advanced  and  presented, 
as  a  donation  for  the  Apostolic  School  religious,  a  chaplet 
of  gold  coins,  each  coin  representing  some  good  work  of  the 
half  century  just  completed.  We  give  in  full  this  heartfelt 
expression  of  her  children's  devotion  as  described  in  the  fol- 
lowing lines : 

America  to  France  a  greeting  gives, 

Tis  sent  by  loving  hearts  across  the  widespread  lands, 

And  borne  across  the  widespread  seas  by  loving  hands; 

A  greeting  joy  and  triumph  make  so  sweet, 

That  it  should  fall  like  music  on  your  ear, 

And  lie  like  festal  flowers  round  your  feet! 

O  Mother !  all  our  heart  is  with  you  on  this  day, 

And  all  our  soul  is  in  the  words  we  say: 

Praise  and  glory  be  to  God  for  fifty  sacred  years! 

Yes,  fifty  years,  whose  record  writ  in  gold 

Is  traced  along  the  realm  from  deep  Canadian  snow 

To  where  the  tropic  island's  balmy  blossoms  blow, 

And  all  the  shining  letters  tell  of  toil  and  prayer 

Of  souls  redeemed  to  Jesus'  love  again. 

Of  hopeful  faith  and  endless  patience  everywhere ! 

We  read  the  record  through  our  happy  tears  to-day, 

And  all  across  the  sea  our  voices  make  their  way — 

Praise  and  glory  be  to  God  for  fifty  sacred  years ! 

A  lifetime  chaplet  clasps  around  our  God 

Its  fifty  sparkling  beads  so  softly,  gently  told, 

Each  counted  by  its  prayers,  each  made  of  thrice  tried  gold. 

Each  "  Gloria  "  some  monument  to  Jesus'  Heart ; 

Your  life,  dear  Mother,  was  all  "  Aves  "  to  His  love— 

The  glory  His,  the  sweetness  ours,  the  pain  your  part. 

Not  cloisters  only,  countless  Christian  homes 

"  337 


MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

Should  bless  the  hand  that  gave  them  life's  celestial  ray — 
Praise  and  glory  be  to  God  for  fifty  sacred  years! 

Unseen  we  all  are  kneeling  by  your  side, 

0  Mother,  whom  our  love  forever  calls  our  own, 
The  best  and  truest  Mother  we  have  ever  known. 
Each  heart  among  your  children  in  your  native  land, 
Bows  joyful,  tearful  down  in  spirit  here, 

To  ask  the  tender  blessing  of  your  voice  and  hand. 
The  seas  divide  us  not,  O  Mother,  on  this  day, 
Our  hearts  and  yours  are  one,  as  we  together  say, 
Praise  and  glory  be  to  God  for  fifty  sacred  years. 

It  was  not  at  the  Mother  House  only  that  a  celebration 
was  held.  Innumerable  friends  in  two  hemispheres  united 
in  the  joy  of  the  day.  In  the  American  convents,  the 
most  significant  feature  of  the  occasion  was  the  Sacrifice  of 
Thanksgiving  offered  upon  the  altars  raised  by  Mother 
Hardey  to  the  honor  of  the  Sacred  Heart.  Everywhere 
a  holiday  was  granted  to  the  pupils.  At  Manhattanville 
Rev.  J.  L.  Spalding,  later  Bishop  of  Peoria,  delivered  a 
panegyric  in  which  we  find  an  admirable  delineation  of 
Mother  Hardey's  character. 

"  We  have  been  drawn  together  to-day,"  he  said,  "  my 
sisters  and  my  children,  by  our  affection  and  admiration  for 
one  who  has  consecrated  her  whole  life  to  the  Sacred  Heart 
of  Jesus,  of  whom,  were  it  not  for  the  day  and  the  occasion 
which  constrain  me,  I  should  not  presume  to  speak,  know- 
ing how  displeasing  to  her  is  even  the  sincerest  praise.  Yet, 

1  will  speak,  for  absence  gives  in  a  measure  the  privilege 
of  death,  and  in  the  sanctuary  of  the  family,  surrounded  by 
the  friends  and  children  whose  hearts  outstrip  my  words,  I 
may  be  allowed  a  certain  liberty,  and  even  though  I  prove 
unskillful,  yet  shall  I  be  excused  for  my  good  will. 

"  We  are  thanking  God  for  a  life  which  has  had  no 
other  object  than  His  honor  and  glory.  Why  do  fifty  years 
seem  so  long  and  so  worthy  of  special  commemoration,  but 

338 


VISITS  HOUSES  IN  SPAIN 

because  life  is  so  short?  And  thus  in  the  midst  of  gladness, 
a  sad  thought  comes  to  us,  and  our  joy  reminds  us  of 
our  misery.  What  a  heavenly  privilege  to  have  given  all 
those  years  to  Jesus!  In  the  very  first  blush  of  maiden- 
hood to  have  turned  from  the  world,  in  all  the  freshness  of 
a  mind  and  heart  untaught  by  sorrow,  from  the  earliest 
dawn  until  evening,  to  have  watched  for  the  coming  of  Him 
who  alone  is  worthy ! 

"  What  changes  have  come  over  the  world  in  these  fifty 
years !  When  Reverend  Mother  Hardey  brought  her  youth 
and  all  her  hopes  and  laid  them  at  the  foot  of  the  Cross 
religious  life  was  scarcely  known  in  this  country.  There 
were  but  few  religious  communities  and  they  were  poor, 
their  life  seemed  cold,  for  here  and  there  only  was  found 
a  heart  strong  enough  to  lean  on  God  alone.  Forty  years 
before  her  entrance  into  the  convent  there  was  not  one 
religious  woman  in  all  this  broad  land  who  had  devoted 
herself  to  God's  special  service.  What  a  benediction  to 
her  to-day  is  the  thought  of  the  change  which  has  come 
over  religion  in  this  country.  This  in  itself  is  a  recompense 
of  no  small  value  to  know  that  God  has  blessed  the  labor 
in  which  she  has  taken  so  important  a  part.  Yes,  a  hun- 
dredfold, a  thousandfold,  His  blessing  rests  upon  the  work 
of  His  Servant.  When  the  venerated  foundress  of  the 
Society  of  the  Sacred  Heart  sent  Madame  Galitzin  to 
America  she  said :  '  There  will  be  many  crosses  for  you  in 
America,  but  be  patient,  firm ;  gentleness  and  patience  are 
especially  necessary.'  Such  were  the  words  of  Mother 
Barat.  Certainly  she  could  not  have  described  more  per- 
fectly the  character  of  that  woman  who  was  chosen  to  be 
the  chief  instrument  in  building  up  the  Society  of  the  Sacred 
Heart  in  America,  Reverend  Mother  Hardey. 

"  She  has  that  firmness  which  springs  from  a  character 
naturally  just ;  from  that  strong  good  sense,  which  is  often 
genius,  yet  better  than  genius.  She  has  a  soul  that  scorned 
all  that  is  low  and  unworthy.  These  natural  qualities  trans- 

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MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

formed  and  purified  by  grace  have  made  her  a  power,  a 
force  of  divine  efficacy  in  organizing  the  Society  which  is 
leading  many  of  the  best  and  noblest  souls  in  America  to  a 
higher  life.  She  is  a  strong  woman.  To  know  her  is  to 
feel  her  strength.  That  the  religious  life  is  made  for  feeble 
souls  no  one  in  her  presence  would  dare  even  to  imagine. 
The  gentleness  with  which  her  firm  rule  is  tempered  comes 
from  strength.  The  strong  know  how  to  be  patient.  They 
know,  too,  that  the  great  power  to  influence  men  is  love  and 
sympathy.  In  the  Church,  above  all  in  religious  life,  love 
only  attains  the  highest.  Not  force,  but  the  charity  of  the 
Heart  of  Jesus,  warms  the  souls  of  men.  This  has  been,  as 
all  who  know  her  can  testify,  one  of  the  marked  character- 
istics of  Mother  Hardey's  dealings  with  those  over  whom 
she  has  had  authority.  She  was  born  to  rule,  but  to  rule  by 
the  power  of  love  and  gentleness.  A  particular  knowledge 
of  men  and  affairs  is  one  of  her  most  remarkable  gifts,  as 
it  is  most  essential  to  all  who  are  called  to  the  difficult 
mission  of  directing  others.  She  is  rarely  mistaken  in  her 
estimate  of  character,  and  as  seldom  fails  to  grasp  all  the 
details  of  even  the  most  difficult  enterprise.  Hence,  what 
she  undertakes  to  do  is  done. 

"  She  inspires  confidence  and  always  finds  willing  help- 
ers. Full  of  courage  herself,  she  makes  others  brave.  Her 
sense  of  justice  is  so  strong  that  no  one  questions  her  judg- 
ment, or  hesitates  to  abide  by  her  decisions;  while  the 
generous  devotion  of  her  children  is  the  best  evidence  of 
the  warmth  and  sympathy  of  her  maternal  heart.  Absence 
is  the  severest  test  of  friendship,  but  you,  my  sisters  and 
my  children,  will  bear  me  out  when  I  say  that  it  has  no 
power  to  cool  the  ardor  of  your  love  for  Reverend  Mother 
Hardey,  and  this,  while  it  is  most  honorable  to  yourselves, 
is  the  noblest  testimony  to  her  own  true  worth  and  exalted 
virtue.  One  who  though  absent  for  years  is  still  present 
by  the  respect  and  veneration  she  inspires,  needs  no  eulogy. 
Let  us,  therefore,  kneeling  around  this  altar,  before  which 

340 


VISITS  HOUSES  IN  SPAIN 

she  has  so  often  prayed,  unite  with  those,  who  in  two  hem- 
ispheres, are  keeping  this  festival.  Prostrate  before  the 
Heart  of  Jesus  present  in  the  Blessed  Sacrament,  let  us 
thank  Him  for  all  the  graces  with  which  He  has  'endowed 
her,  and  supplicate  Him  to  render  her  still  more  worthy 
of  His  love  and  to  preserve  her  yet  many  years  to  those 
who  love  her,  that  she  may  continue  to  be  a  minister  of 
blessing  to  those  who  love  Him." 

This  joyous  feast  left  lasting  memories  on  both  sides  of 
the  Atlantic,  and  for  the  beloved  jubilarian  it  was  fraught 
with  consolation.  Alluding  to  all  that  had  taken  place  she 
said  with  her  accustomed  simplicity,  "  Truly,  this  day  was 
so  touching  that  I  would  have  liked  to  weep,  if  you  had 
given  me  the  time." 

Fifty  years  of  labor,  zeal  and  devotedness  to  the  good  of 
others  had  passed  and  gone,  but  who  can  measure  the  store 
of  merits  laid  up  in  the  treasury  of  Heaven,  and  though  her 
future  will  be  less  active  in  appearance  it  will  not  be  less 
fruitful  in  its  mission  of  prayer  and  sacrifice.  Her  apostle- 
ship  now  included  the  European  houses,  in  whose  welfare 
she  took  a  maternal  interest,  and  she  ably  seconded  the 
Mother  General  in  her  visitation  of  the  houses  of  Conflans 
and  the  rue  de  Varennes,  where  her  kindness  to  the  Sisters 
completely  won  their  hearts. 

In  September,  1877,  the  Mother  House  witnessed  one  of 
those  assemblies  which,  from  time  to  time,  make  it  a  faint 
image  of  the  "  Upper  Room "  in  Jerusalem,  where  the 
Apostles  awaited  in  silence  and  prayer  the  coming  of  the 
Holy  Spirit.  The  superiors  from  sixty  houses  in  vari- 
ous parts  of  the  world  met  for  the  purpose  of  making  a 
spiritual  retreat,  under  the  guidance  of  Rev.  Father  Fes- 
sard,  S.J.,  well  known  for  his  wise  and  enlightened  direction 
of  souls.  Mother  Hardey  followed  the  exercises,  but  it  was 
painfully  evident  to  her  American  daughters  that  her  health 
was  rapidly  failing.  They  begged  the  Mother  General  to 
let  her  return  with  them,  assuring  her  that  the  voyage  and 

341 


MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

a  sojourn  in  her  native  air  would  restore  her  vigor.  Anx- 
ious to  prolong  the  life  of  her  devoted  assistant,  the  Mother 
General  gave  her  consent,  though  it  cost  her  much  to  part 
with  her. 

Mother  Hardey  and  her  party  sailed  from  Liverpool  on 
the  2Oth  of  October  in  the  Russia,  and  after  a  stormy  voy- 
age of  fourteen  days  landed  in  New  York.  "  When  a  hun- 
dred miles  from  port,"  writes  her  secretary,  "  we  encoun- 
tered fierce  head  winds  and  cross  seas,  which  continued 
with  unabated  severity  for  eight  days.  On  the  ninth  day 
our  ship  narrowly  escaped  foundering  owing  to  a  hurricane 
which  sprang  up  towards  nightfall  and  lasted  more  than 
twenty-four  hours.  The  scene  was  appalling.  Great  foam- 
ing waves  towered  around  us,  struck  the  vessel  with  ter- 
rific force,  and  threatened  to  engulf  it  within  a  grave  of 
angry  waters.  There  was  no  rest  for  Reverend  Mother 
during  the  passage,  yet  each  morning  she  rose  early  and 
began  the  day  with  an  hour's  meditation.  Indeed,  the 
greater  part  of  the  day  was  given  to  prayer,  while  her  per- 
fect calmness  and  self-possession  inspired  courage  into 
many  a  sinking  heart.  When  asked  how  she  could  be  so 
tranquil  in  presence  of  imminent  danger,  her  reply  was, 
'  God  rules  the  sea  as  well  as  the  land ;  on  both  sides  of  the 
Atlantic  prayers  are  ascending  to  Him  for  our  safe  journey; 
why,  then,  should  I  be  afraid? ' ' 

The  sad  forebodings  which  had  filled  the  hearts  of  her 
daughters  by  the  delay  in  arriving,  gave  place  to  unbounded 
joy  and  thanksgiving  when  the  news  of  the  Russia's  ar- 
rival was  announced.  The  telegram  was  received  at  Man- 
hattanville  while  the  religious  were  reciting  Matins  in  choir. 
At  the  close  of  the  Office,  Rev.  Mother  Jones  entoned  the 
Te  Deum  and  all  understood  that  their  loved  Mother  had 
safely  reached  the  American  shores.  In  spite  of  the  dangers 
and  fatigue  of  the  past  fortnight,  the  indefatigable  Mother 
did  not  give  herself  time  for  rest.  The  morning  after  her 
arrival  at  Manhattanville  she  was  in  her  accustomed  place 

342 


VISITS  HOUSES  IN  SPAIN 

in  the  chapel  at  half-past  five,  and  was  present  all  day  at 
the  community  reunions,  saying  that  life  in  common  with 
her  daughters  was  the  best  means  for  recovering  her  health. 
However,  an  order  from  the  doctor  imposed  the  rest  so 
much  needed,  and  at  once  she  submitted  with  childlike  obe- 
dience. But  the  sequel  proved  that  it  was  in  labor,  not 
repose,  that  she  was  to  regain  her  health. 

To  the  younger  members  of  the  community  she  de- 
voted an  hour  each  day,  placing  before  them  the  high 
ideals  of  their  sublime  vocation.  "  Look  beyond  the  things 
of  sense,"  she  said,  "  and  see  the  spirit  created  to  the 
image  and  likeness  of  God.  Our  holy  rule  tells  us  that 
'  the  children  are  the  most  precious  treasure  that  the 
Heart  of  Jesus  can  confide  to  us,'  that  we  should  be  as 
'  mothers  to  them.'  How  earnestly  a  true  mother  seeks  the 
highest  interests  of  her  child !  With  what  devotedness  we 
should  fulfill  our  part  in  the  education  of  our  pupils.  With 
what  care  and  solicitude  we  should  form  their  character, 
correct  their  faults,  develop  their  intelligence,  train  their 
hearts,  in  a  word,  labor  to  mould  them  into  true  children  of 
the  Sacred  Heart. 

"  '  Beware  of  yielding  to  a  repugnance  to  your  duties  in 
the  class-room.  Put  your  whole  heart  into  your  work,  and 
thank  God  for  your  privilege  in  laboring  for  souls.  The 
most  dreaded  punishment  Our  Lord  can  impose  upon  a 
Religious  of  the  Sacred  Heart  is  to  withdraw  her  from 
apostleship  with  the  children,  and  we  may  bring  this  pen- 
alty upon  ourselves  by  our  lack  of  devotedness,  our  in- 
efficiency, or  even  our  inequalities  and  asperities  of  charac- 
ter. Be  of  the  number  of  those  convenient  religious  who 
can  be  used  by  superiors  in  any  capacity,  whose  glory  it  is 
to  wear  out,  not  to  rust  out ! ' ' 

These  and  similar  counsels  were  repeated  by  Mother 
Hardey  in  her  visits  to  the  other  convents.  Indeed,  it 
seemed  that  the  purpose  of  this  second  visit  to  America  was 
"  to  prepare  for  the  Lord  a  perfect  people,"  to  mould  the 

343 


MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

new  generation  in  the  spirit  and  rules  of  the  Institute.  The 
Congregations  of  the  Children  of  Mary  in  New  York  and 
Philadelphia  were  also  the  objects  of  her  interest,  and  she 
gave  a  new  impetus  to  all  their  good  works,  especially  that 
for  the  relief  of  poor  churches.  After  spending  some  time  in 
each  house  of  the  New  York  Vicariate,  she  went  to  Canada 
in  the  month  of  May.  Here,  again,  it  was  a  mother  return- 
ing to  her  daughters,  and  her  farewell  was  a  rallying  cry 
of  "  Love  of  the  Heart  of  Jesus,"  "  Fidelity  to  Rule."  "  You 
have  in  these,"  she  said,  "  a  pledge  of  happiness  in  this  life, 
and  for  that  better  one  where  partings  are  unknown." 

During  the  triduum,  before  the  Feast  of  the  Sacred 
Heart,  Mother  Hardey  gave  several  beautiful  instructions 
to  the  Manhattanville  community.  We  give  some  extracts. 
Speaking  of  the  necessity  of  "  Renovation,"  she  says : 
"  Everything  in  the  world  has  need  of  renewal,  because 
everything  has  within  itself  the  germ  of  decay,  hence  the 
necessity  of  a  religious  renovation,  which  means  a  renewal 
of  fervor,  of  fidelity  in  pursuing  the  end  of  our  vocation. 
The  law  of  sterility,  of  advancing  age,  is  attached  to  per- 
sons and  things,  and  leaves  its  impress  all  too  soon.  So  is 
it  in  the  moral  order.  There  is  a  decline  which  fastens  itself 
upon  our  thoughts,  our  desires,  our  sentiments,  even  our 
holiest  resolutions.  Hence  the  necessity  of  having  spiritual 
things  presented  to  us  in  a  novel  manner,  because  novelty 
makes  a  stronger  impression  on  us.  In  the  physical  world 
there  are  particles  of  dust  constantly  settling  upon  every- 
thing. These  atoms  at  first  are  invisible,  but  after  a  time 
they  are  plainly  seen.  Something  similar  takes  place  in  the 
moral  world.  If  we  penetrate  deeply  into  our  souls,  we 
shall  see  them  tarnished  by  the  dust  of  nature,  or  the  dust 
of  the  world,  even  though  we  have  given  a  portion  of  time 
daily  to  the  removal  of  this  dust,  nay,  even  if  we  abhor  its 
approach.  Hence  the  necessity  of  occasionally  making  a 
more  thorough  examination  of  our  spiritual  condition,  our 
actions  and  their  motives,  that  we  may  cleanse  our  hearts 

344 


Convents  in  Havana  and  Porto  Rico 


VISITS  HOUSES  IN  SPAIN 

from  all  that  may  displease  the  eye  of  Our  Lord  and  Master." 

In  another  instruction,  she  made  a  very  detailed  exam- 
ination of  conscience,  as  follows : 

"  Upon  the  exact  observance  of  the  Rules  and  Constitu- 
tions depends  the  success  of  the  Society.  Let  us  see  how 
far  we  have  contributed  to  this  success  since  our  last  reno- 
vation. We  will  go  through  the  daily  regulation : 

"  i.  Do  we  obey  the  call  for  rising,  lovingly,  promptly? 
Our  Rule  is  one  of  love.  There  are  no  punishments  im- 
posed on  those  who  break  it,  except  the  remorse  of  their 
own  conscience. 

"  2.  Do  we  make  our  meditation  in  the  spirit  of  the  So- 
ciety and  of  the  Rule,  spending  the  hour  exclusively  with 
Our  Lord,  studying  His  Divine  Heart,  learning  from  Him 
especially  the  great  lessons  of  meekness  and  humility? 
After  our  meditation  are  we  more  zealous,  more  humble, 
more  submissive  to  God's  will? 

"  3.  Do  we  assist  at  the  Holy  Sacrifice,  the  greatest  act 
of  the  day,  in  the  spirit  of  the  Church? 

"  4.  Are  we  faithful  to  the  spirit  of  God  and  do  we  act 
for  His  love  and  glory? 

"  5.  Devotion  to  the  Sacred  Heart  is  the  essence  of  our 
vocation;  it  should  be  our  only  passion.  Do  we  instil  it 
in  the  hearts  of  our  children,  and  is  it  our  means  of  gaining 
souls  ? 

"6.  Are  we  mothers  in  our  dealings  with  the  children? 
Do  we  reprove  them  in  a  motherly  way? 

"  7.  Have  we  a  real  zeal  for  science,  as  well  as  for 
sanctity?  Are  we  mistresses  of  what  we  teach?  Do  we 
ever  disedify  our  children  by  an  exhibition  of  temper,  of 
worldliness,  of  sarcasm,  of  vanity? 

"8.  Do  we  obey  in  a  spirit  of  faith,  seeing  God  in  our 
superiors,  and  His  will  in  their  commands?  Have  we  any 
dispensations  that  are  not  necessary,  from  any  rule  or  cus- 
tom of  the  Society.  Do  we  lead  the  common  life  in  regard 
to  food,  clothing,  lodging,  careful  to  guard  against  the  in- 

345 


MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

clinations  of  nature  to  seek  satisfaction  rather  than  religious 
discipline? 

"  9.  Is  holy  poverty  really  treated  as  a  mother,  and  do 
we  give  it  marks  of  our  esteem  and  of  our  affection  when 
opportunity  offers?  Are  we  careful  of  the  goods  of  the 
house,  faithful  to  ask  the  necessary  permissions  for  things 
in  our  use,  for  giving,  lending,  borrowing,  etc.?  Do  we 
waste  things  ourselves,  and  permit  the  children  to  waste 
food,  materials,  paper,  etc.  ?  Do  we  permit  them  to  destroy 
or  injure  the  furniture,  waste  time,  neglect  the  proper  care 
of  articles  given  for  their  use,  money,  stationery,  clothing, 
etc.,  etc.?  All  these  points  come  under  our  vow  of  poverty, 
or  at  least  under  the  exercise  of  the  virtue. 

"  10.  If  we  wish  to  do  good  to  the  souls  of  our  children 
we  must  begin  by  being  fervent,  obedient  and  faithful  ob- 
servers of  our  own  obligations. 

"  ii.  Is  our  heart  free,  detached,  or  do  we  cling  to  nat- 
ural affections,  whether  of  blood  or  of  friendship?  Purity 
of  heart  requires  the  sacrifice  of  particular  affections.  Our 
hearts  are  made  to  love.  If  we  do  not  love  Our  Divine 
Lord  wholly  and  without  reserve  we  will  seek  for  the  love 
of  the  creature,  and  when  we  yield  to  that  weakness  we  run 
great  risks.  Particular  friendships  have  been  the  cause  of 
nearly  all  the  defections  in  the  Society.  Other  reasons  may 
be  given,  but  when  the  case  is  well  examined  it  is  usually 
found  that  lack  of  obedience,  failures  in  poverty,  have  all 
taken  their  rise  in  the  gratification  of  natural  affections, 
which  neither  superiors  nor  the  rules  could  sanction,  hence 
dissatisfaction  with  religious  restraints,  and  at  last  disgust 
with  religious  life. 

"  12.  How  do  we  keep  silence?  Our  Mother  Foundress 
says  where  there  is  no  silence  there  is  no  recollection,  no 
interior  life.  This  liberty  of  the  tongue  is  the  cause  of  end- 
less evils,  murmuring,  complaints,  criticisms,  remarks 
against  charity,  etc.  Examine  whether  it  is  really  '  with 
your  whole  heart '  that  you  are  going  to  renew  your  vows. 

346 


VISITS  HOUSES  IN  SPAIN 

You  must  not  merely  recite  the  formula,  you  must  realize 
its  meaning.  Take  each  word  in  turn  and  reflect  seriously 
before  Our  Lord  upon  its  import.  Who  am  I?  What  am 
I  about  to  do?  Then,  continue  with  the  words  which  fol- 
low and  do  not  forget  that  you  have  taken  your  vows  '  ac- 
cording to  the  spirit  and  rules  of  the  Society,'  not  according 
to  your  views  nor  your  spirit." 

It  is  not  surprising  that  this  blessed  visit  of  Mother 
Hardey  was  looked  upon  as  "  the  passage  of  the  Lord,"  for, 
like  her  Divine  Spouse,  she  had  come  to  cast  the  fire  of  her 
own  ardent  zeal  into  the  hearts  of  her  daughters.  The 
day  of  departure  came  all  too  soon.  On  the  eve  she  gave  a 
conference,  in  which  she  seemed  to  pour  out  the  sentiments 
of  her  loving  heart.  "  I  will  give  you  but  three  words," 
she  said,  "  but  with  these  three  we  shall  be  able  to  go  very 
far  in  the  way  of  perfection.  The  first  is  '  Love  of  the 
Sacred  Heart/  a  generous,  trusting  love,  hopeful  of  obtain- 
ing all  that  it  asks ;  a  love  which  will  lead  us  to  have  recourse 
to  that  Heart  in  every  necessity,  for  we  naturally  apply  to 
one  we  love,  whom  we  know  to  be  able  and  willing  to  assist 
us.  Love  of  the  Sacred  Heart  is  our  vocation.  Love  means 
sacrifice,  and  sacrifice  cements  friendship,  and  friendship 
makes  of  two  hearts  but  one ! 

"  Our  second  word  is,  '  Love  of  the  Rule  ' ;  that  Rule 
which  has  been  approved  by  the  Holy  See,  so  highly  praised 
by  the  masters  of  the  spiritual  life,  so  faithfully  practiced 
by  our  Mother  Foundress  and  her  first  companions.  By 
the  Rule  we  shall  be  judged.  Therefore,  we  should  refer 
all  to  it;  measure  the  value  of  everything  by  its  standard. 
Consult  it  in  doubt  or  perplexity,  be  guided  by  it  in  all  our 
undertakings  and  occupations,  and  in  every  circumstance, 
before  every  action  ask  ourselves,  Is  this  according  to  Rule? 

"  The  third  word  is  also  '  love,'  '  love  for  one  another.' 
The  Rule  tells  us  that  '  Charity  is  the  bond  which  unites 
among  ourselves  and  with  those  in  authority.'  This  love  is 
the  consequence  of  the  first  two.  We  must  love  one  an- 

347 


MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

other  as  Our  Lord  loves  us.  Ah !  if  He  loved  only  the  per- 
fect, He  would  love  very  few.  Therefore,  let  charity  unite 
us  all  as  one  in  the  Heart  of  Jesus.  To  assist  us  in  attaining 
this  blessing  Our  Lord  has  sent  us  to-day  a  precious  book, 
the  '  Life  of  Mother  Duchesne.'  You  will  find  there  the 
spirit  she  brought  to  this  country.  You  will  see  what  her 
sufferings  and  her  love  of  the  Cross  have  purchased  for  us. 
It  is  my  desire  and  my  earnest  prayer  that  you  may  learn 
from  her  heroic  example  to  labor  generously  for  the  love  and 
the  glory  of  the  Sacred  Heart  of  Jesus,  by  your  love  for  the 
Rule,  and  your  love  for  one  another." 

Like  the  Apostle  of  Charity  Mother  Hardey  left  to  her 
daughters  an  adieu  of  love.  She  sailed  for  France  on  the 
1 8th  of  July,  bearing  with  her  the  regrets,  the  veneration 
and  the  devoted  affection  of  her  religious  families  and 
friends. 


348 


CHAPTER  XXVII. 

MOTHER  HARDEY  CHARGED  WITH  THE  PROBATIONISTS — VISIT 

TO    BELGIUM — DEATHS    OF    RELIGIOUS    IN 

AMERICA — 1878-1880. 

It  was  always  with  additional  joy  that  Mother  Hardey's 
return  to  France  was  welcomed.  She  had  identified  herself 
so  completely  with  the  interests  of  those  around  her,  that 
her  absence  was  keenly  felt.  One  of  the  Sisters  who  had 
lost  her  father  some  months  previous,  was  deeply  touched 
when,  on  alighting  from  the  carriage,  the  Reverend  Mother 
called  her  aside,  saying,  "  I  heard  of  your  sorrow,  and  I 
prayed  and  asked  prayers  for  the  soul  of  your  dear  father.'' 
The  sorrows  and  joys  of  others  always  found  a  place  in  her 
faithful  memory.  Soon  after  her  return  Mother  Lehon 
gave  her  a  new  proof  of  her  confidence,  by  confiding  to  her 
the  charge  of  the  probationists  of  the  September  term. 
Though  Mother  Hardey  pleaded  her  unfitness  for  the  re- 
sponsible position  Mother  Lehon  judged  differently,  so, 
obedient,  she  humbly  submitted. 

The  period  of  probation  preparatory  to  the  final  vows, 
or  profession,  forms,  as  it  were,  a  long  retreat  of  six  months, 
during  which  the  probationist  reviews  the  past,  and,  under 
the  direction  of  an  experienced  guide,  gathers  strength  for 
the  future,  in  recollection,  prayer  and  profound  study  of  the 
Rules  and  Constitutions  of  the  Society.  We  find  an  echo 
of  Mother  Hardey's  teachings  in  "  the  notes,"  which  one  of 
her  probationists  collected  day  by  day  during  those  blessed 
months.  We  give  a  few  extracts: 

"  The  probation  is  the  school  of  the  heart,  a  time  of  prep- 
aration, but  first  of  all  of  reparation.  At  the  end  of  five 
years  or  more  of  active  duty  in  the  school  and  elsewhere 
both  body  and  soul  are  fatigued,  it  almost  seems  as  if  we 
can  hold  out  no  longer,  then  God  calls  us  apart,  the  Society 

349 


MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

brings  us  to  the  '  centre/  in  order  to  renew  our  strength,  to 
mould  us  anew  in  the  spirit  of  the  Constitutions,  to  give  us 
an  opportunity  to  repair  the  past  and  to  prepare  for  the 
future,  where  the  combat  will  last  without  intermission 
until  our  arms  rest  in  death.  Do  not  desire  perfection  for 
its  own  sake,  nor  the  correction  of  your  faults  in  order  to 
be  rid  of  them;  no,  we  must  seek  perfection  through  the 
supernatural  motive  of  love,  because  it  is  the  will  of  Him 
whom  we  desire  to  love  above  'everything  else. 

"  Learn  to  know  yourselves  and  all  that  has  been  lacking 
in  your  religious  spirit  hitherto.  Souls  that  are  soft  and 
cowardly  are  a  heavy  cross  to  the  Society.  Light,  frivolous 
characters  cannot  form  others  to  virtue.  Despondent  char- 
acters are  worse  than  all  others.  No  one  knows  how  to 
take  them.  If  corrected  they  become  discouraged,  if  left, 
to  themselves,  they  are  hurt.  The  best  character  is  the 
generous,  unselfish  nature  that  lets  itself  be  moulded  in 
the  spirit  of  the  Society,  and  notwithstanding  defects,  con- 
tinues to  grow  daily  in  the  love  of  the  rule  and  the  faithful 
observance  of  all  it  enjoins.  Perfect  obedience  is  impossible 
without  complete  indifference  to  persons,  places,  employ- 
ments. Have  faith  in  the  grace  of  obedience.  It  is  often 
the  fear  of  not  succeeding  that  makes  us  allege  our  in- 
capacity." 

Among  so  many  beautiful  and  practical  explanations  of 
the  Rule,  we  find  it  difficult  to  make  selections.  Poverty, 
Obedience,  and,  above  all,  Charity  are  treated  at  length,  and 
in  so  simple  and  convincing  terms  that  one  cannot  fail  to 
profit  by  the  lessons  taught.  The  notes  on  education  are 
particularly  helpful.  Mother  Hardey  enters  into  the  de- 
tails of  daily  intercourse  with  the  children,  pointing  out 
the  obstacles  to  be  met  with  in  the  exercise  of  authority, 
maternal  interest  in  the  pupil's  welfare,  and  the  supernat- 
ural spirit  which  should  animate  all  their  dealings  with 
souls.  Speaking  of  the  vow  they  are  preparing  to  take  of 
consecrating  themselves  to  the  education  of  youth,  she 

350 


MISTRESS  OF  THE  PROBATION 

says :  "  The  first  disposition  necessary  for  this  important 
work  of  the  Society  is  the  spirit  of  Faith.  This  disposition 
is  indispensable  in  order  to  do  good,  but  still  more  so,  in 
order  not  to  do  harm,  for  the  effect  of  our  action  is  never 
indifferent.  The  children  are  a  precious  trust  given  us  by 
Our  Lord,  and  in  our  hands  it  must  be  a  fruitful  trust.  When 
you  have  to  deal  with  children  who  are  difficult,  ungrate- 
ful, repulsive  even,  do  not  forget  that  they  are  a  sacred 
trust.  Have  with  them  a  patience  which  nothing  can  alter, 
the  same  patience  that  Our  Lord  has  with  you.  You  must 
always  approach  souls  with  respect. 

"  Purity  of  intention  is  your  safeguard.  In  success  it 
will  make  you  attribute  all  to  God;  in  failure,  it  will  keep 
you  from  being  discouraged  and  make  you  continue  to 
work  as  earnestly  as  before.  Your  vigilance  must  be  kind, 
straightforward,  incessant  and  maternal.  Be  vigilant  in  re- 
gard to  the  studies  and  the  health  of  the  children,  but,  above 
all,  in  regard  to  their  innocence.  Vigilance  should  not  be 
anxious  or  suspicious.  Do  not  place  sentinels  everywhere. 
Inspire  the  children  with  the  fear  of  God  and  love  of  duty, 
this  will  do  much  better.  Vigilance  that  is  suspicious  vexes 
and  wearies  the  children  and  tempts  them  to  do  the  very 
thing  you  suspect,  and  which,  perhaps,  they  had  no  previous 
intention  of  doing. 

"  Sometimes,  even  while  watching  them,  leave  them  a 
little  latitude,  let  some  things  pass  unnoticed.  Do  not  re- 
prove them  in  public.  Correction  should  never  be  bitter,  nor 
should  it  be  made  when  either  mistress  or  child  is  excited 
or  impatient.  Wait,  pray,  place  yourself  under  the  action  of 
God,  then  speak,  but  do  not  raise  your  voice.  Never  employ 
expressions  that  would  make  a  child  think  you  are  hurt 
personally.  Correction  should  never  be  haughty  or  con- 
temptuous. It  should  be  grave,  firm  and  kind.  The  child 
should  always  feel  that  it  comes  from  the  love  of  a  mother. 
It  is  your  duty  to  correct  sometimes  even  with  severity,  but 
a  child  must  never  leave  you  without  having  herself  recog- 

351 


MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

nized  her  fault,  and  your  having  spoken  a  word  of  kind  en- 
couragement and  affection.  They  must  always  be  able  to 
say  of  you,  as  was  said  of  Mother  Foundress,  even  after  a 
severe  reprimand,  '  Oh !  how  good  she  is ! ' 

"  In  your  surveillance  be  straightforward,  employ  hon- 
orable means,  never  listen,  never  pretend  anything  in  order 
to  learn  the  truth,  it  were  better  to  remain  in  ignorance  of 
it.  In  general,  unless  you  have  seen  a  thing  done,  do  not 
reprove  a  child  until  you  have  asked  her,  '  Have  you  done 
so-and-so?'  If  she  denies  it,  do  not  insist  even  if  you  are 
almost  sure  she  did  it.  If  she  deceived  you  she  will  come 
back  and  tell  you  so,  especially  if  you  have  said  to  her  kind- 
ly, '  I  am  glad  you  did  not  do  it,  and  I  hope  you  never  would 
do  such  a  thing/  If  you  go  about  it  rightly  you  can  save 
the  children  from  committing  many  faults  " 

We  will  close  our  gleanings  from  Mother  Hardey's  in- 
structions with  her  remarks  upon  this  passage  of  the  Rule : 
"  By  the  grace  of  their  vocation  they  are  called  to  union  and 
conformity  of  their  hearts  with  the  Heart  of  Jesus.  It  is 
from  that  Heart  that  they  must  draw  the  esteem  and  love, 
as  well  as  the  spirit  and  form  of  all  the  virtues,  but  more 
especially  those  that  are  the  object  of  their  vows.  We 
must  esteem  what  Our  Lord  esteems,  and  despise  what  He 
despises.  Consequently,  we  must  esteem  poverty,  chastity, 
obedience,  mortification,  charity.  We  must  despise,  or  at 
least  we  must  attach  no  importance  to  birth,  wealth,  or  ex- 
terior gifts  of  mind  or  body.  The  spirit  of  the  world  is 
diametrically  opposed  to  the  spirit  of  our  Lord.  He  did 
not  come  down  to  earth  for  the  rich,  but  for  the  poor.  He 
speaks  rarely  to  the  rich,  He  always  speaks  to  the  poor.  If 
we  do  not  esteem  His  virtues  we  will  not  love  them,  and 
if  we  do  not  love  them  we  will  not  practice  them. 

"A  religious  imbued  with  the  spirit  of  the  world,  and 
destitute,  therefore,  of  solid  virtue,  does  much  harm.  A 
Religious  of  the  Sacred  Heart  must  be  another  Christ.  She 
must  possess  His  spirit  and  be  directed  always  and  every- 

352 


MISTRESS  OF  THE  PROBATION 

where  by  it.  Jesus  was  meek  and  gentle,  He  was  modest 
and  simple  and  humble.  We  must  never  speak  in  a  man- 
ner that  is  arrogant  or  proud.  There  must  be  no  levity, 
no  affectation,  no  self-sufficiency  in  our  manner.  Why  do 
we  win  so  few  souls?  It  is  because  we  have  not  the  spirit 
of  Jesus,  poor,  humiliated,  crucified,  nor  have  we  the  form  of 
His  virtues,  which  is  to  be  studied  in  prayer  and  exercised 
in  practice,  for  then  only  shall  we  win  hearts  to  His  love." 

The  last  month  of  the  probation  is  devoted  to  a  spiritual 
retreat,  during  which  the  soul  withdraws  from  creatures  to 
be  alone  with  God.  Mother  Hardey  tells  the  probationists 
to  make  for  themselves  a  solitude  in  the  Heart  of  Jesus. 
"  Let  that  Heart  be  your  cell  wherein  you  will  dwell  with 
your  Divine  Spouse  and  learn  His  will  in  regard  to  your 
future.  The  retreat  must  be  for  you  a  time  of  active,  in- 
terior work,  of  deep  self-introspection,  of  study  of  the  great 
truths  of  salvation,  of  the  life  of  Him  to  whom,  as  the  Rule 
says,  you  "  must  be  conformed  in  sentiment,  affection  and 
will."  She  urged  the  exercise  of  a  practical  judgment  and 
great  generosity  in  making  the  resolutions  which  are  to 
shape  their  future  lives.  "  Remember  these  resolutions  must 
be  sacred  to  you  through  life.  They  must  be  sufficiently 
strong  to  withstand  temptation.  Let  them  be  based  upon 
Our  Lord's  assurance  of  help.  He  is  faithful  to  His  word." 

In  the  month  of  June,  1879,  she  accompanied  Mother 
Lehon  in  her  visits  to  the  houses  in  Belgium.  One  of  these 
is  situated  near  the  village  of  Jette  Saint  Pierre,  so  called 
on  account  of  a  painting  in  the  parish  church,  representing 
St.  Peter  casting  his  net  at  the  command  of  His  Divine 
Master.  Advantage  was  taken  of  the  name  of  the  convent 
to  heighten  the  charm  of  the  welcome  tendered  to  the 
Mother  General.  At  the  close  of  a  dialogue,  in  which  the 
history  of  the  Society  of  the  Sacred  Heart  was  rehearsed,  a 
little  bark  was  seen  moving  over  the  billows  of  time  steered 
by  the  Fisherman  who  guides  infallibly  the  destinies  of  the 
Church.  A  sound  rose  upon  the  waves,  a  voice  breathed 

23  353 


MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

low  and  sweet,  "  Jette  Saint  Pierre,"  a  net  was  spread  over 
the  simulated  waters  and  a  fish  caught  in  its  meshes.  It 
was  carried  to  the  Mother  General,  who  found  that  it  bore 
a  veritable  dispatch  from  the  Vatican,  the  special  blessing 
of  Leo  XIII.  to  the  Mother  General  on  her  visit  to  Jette, 
the  convent  so  dear  to  the  heart  of  His  Holiness,  for  while 
Papal  Nuncio  in  Brussels  Monseigneur  Pecci  took  a  special 
interest  in  the  pupils  of  Jette,  among  whom  he  established  a 
literary  association,  under  the  title  of  the  Academy  of 
Honor. 

According  to  the  Statutes,  which  were  drawn  up  and 
signed  by  his  hand,  the  candidates  for  admission  were  re- 
quired to  distinguish  themselves  by  their  piety,  their  assi- 
duity in  study,  in  domestic  economy,  and  their  ability  in 
treating  the  subjects  proposed  by  the  Academy.  Mon- 
seigneur Pecci  deigned  to  preside  at  the  meetings  and  to 
constitute  himself  the  judge  of  the  literary  merits  of  the 
essays  presented.  At  the  last  meeting,  before  his  departure 
from  Brussels  in  1846,  the  members  offered  the  expression  of 
their  gratitude  and  their  regrets  in  a  simple  dialogue,  a  copy 
of  which  was  presented  to  him  at  his  request.  Nearly  half 
a  century  later,  three  hundred  representatives  from  the  con- 
vents of  the  Sacred  Heart  in  Rome  assembled  at  the  Vatican 
to  offer  their  congratulations  to  Leo  XIII.  on  the  occasion 
of  his  Golden  Jubilee.  Towards  the  close  of  the  audience, 
the  Holy  Father  drew  from  his  pocket  a  roll  of  manuscript, 
then  called  two  of  the  pupils  to  stand  before  him,  and  hand- 
ing one  a  paper,  said,  "  You  will  be  Marie,"  and  to  the  other, 
"  You  will  be  Helene,  now  read  aloud  your  parts."  It  was 
the  copy  of  the  dialogue  which  had  been  recited  at  Jette 
Saint  Pierre,  and  which  His  Holiness  had  preserved  through 
all  the  eventful  years  that  followed  his  promotion  to  the  See 
of  Perugia.  How  touching  the  tenderness  and  faithful 
memory  of  Leo  XIII. ! 

After  spending  a  fortnight  in  Belgium  the  Mother  Gen- 
eral and  Mother  Hardey  returned  to  Paris,  and  a  little  later 

354 


MISTRESS  OF  THE  PROBATION 

Mother  Hardey  made  a  tour  of  the  houses  in  the  north  of 
France.  In  the  month  of  July,  the  Society  of  the  Sacred 
Heart  received  with  joy  and  gratitude  the  announcement 
that  the  first  stage  in  the  process  of  Canonization  of  their 
beloved  Foundress,  Mother  Barat,  had  been  reached.  She 
had  been  declared  Venerable  by  the  Holy  See  on  the  i8th. 
Among  all  the  first  daughters  of  the  saintly  Mother  Barat, 
few  could  experience  such  happiness  as  filled  the  heart  of 
Mother  Hardey.  Her  letters  of  this  period  to  her  Ameri- 
can families,  are  eloquent  exhortations  to  the  practice  of 
those  virtues  so  dear  to  the  heart  of  their  Venerable  Mother. 
She  took  the  greatest  interest  in  the  celebrations  which 
were  held  throughout  the  Society  on  the  centenary  of  the 
birth  of  Mother  Barat,  December  12,  1879,  m  accordance 
with  the  wishes  expressed  by  a  circular  letter  of  the  Mother 
General.  In  all  the  houses  of  the  New  York  Vicariate  im- 
pressive religious  services  were  held,  followed  by  social 
rejoicings  in  all  the  schools.  Ingenious  representations, 
literary  and  artistic,  rehearsed  the  life  of  the  Servant  of 
God,  and  when  the  day  ended,  precious  memories  of  its  joys 
remained  in  the  hearts  of  mothers  and  pupils  throughout  the 
Society. 

The  following  year,  several  of  Mother  Hardey's  Ameri- 
can daughters  were  called  to  their  final  reward.  First 
among  them  was  Mother  Boudreau,  who,  as  we  have 
already  seen,  shared  Mother  Hardey's  labors  in  the  Eastern 
States  for  over  thirty  years.  She  had  been  successively 
Mistress  General  and  Superior  of  Manhattanville,  and,  later, 
of  Eden  Hall.  In  1872  she  was  appointed  Vicar  of  the 
Louisiana  province,  and  four  years  later  was  named  to  fill 
the  same  position  in  the  Missouri  province.  The  earlier 
pupils  of  Manhattanville  remember  with  gratitude  her  lov- 
ing care.  Trained  by  Mother  Hardey,  her  first  effort  was  to 
make  the  pupils  happy ;  after  that  she  set  to  work  energet- 
ically to  form  their  minds  and  characters  that  they  might 
become  pious,  useful,  cultivated  women.  Her  great  desire 

355 


MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

was  to  win  hearts,  but,  in  winning  them,  she  passed  them  on 
to  God. 

She  often  said  to  the  mistresses,  "  Watch  out  for  the 
good  qualities  of  a  child,  spare  no  effort  in  cultivating  them, 
and  then  her  defects  will  die  a  natural  death."  An  act  of 
charity  on  the  part  of  Mother  Boudreau  led  to  the  estab- 
lishment of  the  Society  in  New  Zealand.  While  superior 
at  St.  Michael's,  La.,  she  sheltered  in  a  house  on  the 
convent  grounds  two  Marist  fathers  who  had  been  attacked 
by  yellow  fever.  One  of  them,  Rev.  Father  Goutenoir, 
being  sent  after  his  recovery  to  New  Zealand,  carried  to 
his  new  home  grateful  recollections  of  his  kind  benefactress. 
When,  a  few  years  later,  the  question  arose  of  founding  a 
convent  in  Timaru,  he  proposed  to  Bishop  Redwood  of 
Wellington  to  invite  the  Religious  of  the  Sacred  Heart. 
The  suggestion  was  favorably  received  and  a  petition  was 
sent  to  Mother  Lehon.  The  Mother  General  acceded  to  the 
request,  and  asked  Mother  Boudreau  to  select  the  little  band 
of  missionaries  from  the  Missouri  province.  With  un- 
bounded joy  the  latter,  having  obtained  permission  to  ac- 
company her  daughters,  set  sail  on  the  centenary  of  the 
birth  of  Mother  Barat.  On  February  i,  1880,  she  assisted  at 
the  laying  of  the  corner  stone  of  the  new  academy  in 
Timaru,  and  the  next  day  she  opened  a  free  school  under 
the  auspices  of  Our  Lady's  Purification.  This  was  her  last 
work  of  zeal.  She  was  already  suffering  from  the  pre- 
monitory symptom  of  a  climatic  fever,  and  in  a  few  days  her 
life  was  despaired  of.  When  told  by  her  sorrowing  daugh- 
ters that  the  supreme  hour  was  at  hand,  she  exclaimed, 
"  What  a  mystery,  that  I  should  have  come  here  to  die,  and 
my  mission  not  yet  accomplished !  "  Then  she  added  with 
great  earnestness,  "  If  Our  Lord  sees  that  my  death  can 
avail  aught  for  the  good  of  this  foundation,  I  willingly, 
gladly  offer  my  life  for  its  success."  On  the  loth  of  Febru- 
ary, strengthened  with  the  grace  of  the  Last  Sacraments,  she 
renewed  her  vows,  made  an  humble  reparation  for  the 

356 


MISTRESS  OF  THE  PROBATION 

faults  of  her  life,  blessed  her  daughters  and  the  families  of 
her  vicariate,  then  yielded  up  her  soul  into  the  hands  of  her 
Creator.  She  had  always  an  extreme  fear  of  the  judgments 
of  God,  yet  when  summoned  to  her  last  account,  her  spirit 
went  forth  with  a  childlike  confidence  in  the  mercy  of  Him 
whom  she  had  faithfully  served  from  the  days  of  her  youth. 

The  news  of  her  death  was  a  great  sorrow  to  Mother 
Hardey,  and  the  loss  of  this  dear  Mother,  so  well  known 
throughout  the  United  States,  was  deeply  deplored.  An- 
other death,  long  and  deeply  regretted  by  Mother  Hardey, 
was  that  of  Mother  Annie  Keller,  the  loved  and  lamented 
Mistress  General  of  Manhattanville.  She  was  the  sec- 
ond eldest  of  four  sisters  who  consecrated  their  young 
lives  to  the  Master's  service  in  the  Society  of  the  Sacred 
Heart.  Mother  Annie's  gentle  virtues  and  enthusiastic  de- 
votion to  the  Blessed  Virgin,  under  the  title  of  Mater  Ad- 
mirabilis,  gave  her  a  happy  influence  in  the  schools  of  Ken- 
wood and  Manhattanville,  but  it  was  especially  in  Phila- 
delphia, as  Directress  of  the  Children  of  Mary,  where  she 
exerted  an  apostleship  of  zeal,  in  promoting  the  good  works 
of  the  Sodality,  that  her  memory  is  held  in  religious  venera- 
tion. 

The  year  following  her  decease,  Manhattanville  sus- 
tained another  loss  in  the  death  of  Mother  Catherine  White, 
who  was  noted  for  her  scholarly  attainments  and  her  effi- 
ciency in  promoting  the  educational  interests  of  the  New 
York  Vicariate.  Besides  teaching  and  preparing  the 
younger  religious  for  the  duties  of  the  class  room,  she  de- 
voted herself  to  the  compilation  of  text-books,  which  have 
since  been  adopted,  not  only  by  the  academies  of  the  Sacred 
Heart  and  other  Catholic  institutions,  but  also  by  many 
secular  schools  throughout  the  country.  As  we  close  this 
chapter,  still  another  name  rises  to  our  memory,  that  of 
Mother  Elizabeth  Tucker,  one  of  Mother  Hardey's  most 
active  associates  in  the  early  days  of  Manhattanville.  All 
in  her  character  reflected  a  grand  type.  Born  in  England 

357 


MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

in  1809,  of  an  ancient  Catholic  family,  she  inherited  the 
valiant  spirit  of  her  ancestors,  who  had  clung  to  the  Faith, 
through  ages  of  persecution. 

From  the  time  of  her  arrival  in  New  York,  in  1842,  her 
name  became  identified  with  the  progress  of  the  Society  of 
the  Sacred  Heart,  in  both  the  Eastern  and  Western  States. 
Manhattanville,  Eden  Hall,  St.  Louis,  Chicago,  Philadel- 
phia, all  bear  witness  to  her  energy,  enterprise  and  execu- 
tive ability.  Yet  it  was  probably  as  an  educator  that 
Mother  Tucker's  influence  was  most  sensibly  felt  and  appre- 
ciated. Her  superior  gifts  of  mind  fitted  her  in  a  special 
manner  for  the  training  of  youth.  She  knew  how  to  impart 
all  that  varied  culture  so  necessary  to  adorn,  elevate  and 
sanctify  social  and  domestic  virtues.  But  her  first  care  was 
to  implant  in  the  hearts  of  the  children  the  solid  foundation 
of  faith,  fear  of  God  and  horror  of  sin.  She  then  led  them 
gently  to  the  love  of  the  Sacred  Hearts  of  Jesus  and  Mary, 
thereby  preparing  them  to  meet  the  dangers  of  the  world. 
No  matter  how  multiplied  might  be  her  occupations,  she 
always  reserved  to  herself  the  privilege  of  teaching  the  first 
division  of  Christian  Doctrine. 

The  Philadelphia  priests  of  her  day  used  to  say  that 
they  could  always  recognize  Mother  Tucker's  pupils  among 
their  penitents.  Many  houses  of  the  Society  are  still  reap- 
ing the  fruit  of  her  devoted  labors,  but  nowhere  is  her  name 
held  in  such  veneration  as  at  Eden  Hall.  All  there  brings 
to  mind  her  zeal  in  behalf  of  education,  and  her  love  for 
the  House  of  God.  The  academy,  the  beautiful  Gothic 
church,  the  wayside  shrines,  the  woodland  cemetery,  all 
are  associated  with  Mother  Tucker's  memory,  and  when 
her  earthly  mission  was  accomplished,  and  the  sudden  sum- 
mons came,  on  the  Feast  of  the  Visitation,  July  2,  1881,  her 
mortal  remains  were  laid  to  rest  in  the  peace  of  that  beau- 
tiful Eden  home,  so  rich  in  recollections  of  her  holy  life. 

If  we  have  dwelt  upon  the  careers  of  the  religious  men- 
tioned in  this  chapter,  it  is  because  they  seem  to  form 

358 


MISTRESS  OF  THE  PROBATION 

a  part  of  Mother  Hardey's  history.  It  was  her  training 
and  example  that  stimulated  them  to  labor  generously  in  the 
service  of  their  Institute.  Space  will  not  permit  of  our 
recalling  the  lives  of  many  others  who  shared  her  noble 
aim,  the  drawing  of  souls  to  God,  by  the  saving  influence 
of  devotion  to  the  Sacred  Heart. 


359 


CHAPTER  XXVIII. 

MOTHER  HARDEY  VISITS  ENGLAND  AND  IRELAND — SUPERIOR 

OF  THE   PARIS   DAY   SCHOOL — LAST  VISIT  TO 

AMERICA — 1880-1884. 

During  the  Paschal  Season  of  1880,  Mother  Hardey  ac- 
companied Mother  Lehon  in  her  visits  to  the  convents  in 
England  and  Ireland.  She  acted  as  interpreter  for  the 
Mother  General,  and  interested  herself  in  all  that  concerned 
the  welfare  of  the  houses  in  the  British  Isles.  She  was 
particularly  impressed  by  the  faith  and  piety  of  the  Irish 
children,  and  in  her  visits  to  the  free  school,  she  made  the 
little  ones  supremely  happy  by  her  maternal  goodness.  The 
lay  Sisters  were  the  special  object  of  her  interest.  She  gave 
to  each  one  the  same  devotedness  and  charity  which  ever 
marked  her  intercourse  with  her  American  daughters. 
Whatever  could  render  their  employments  less  laborious, 
was  sure  to  engage  her  solicitude,  and,  whenever  possible, 
she  introduced  the  fruits  of  her  wide  experience  in  the  do- 
mestic arrangements  of  the  houses  she  visited. 

We  are  told  by  Very  Reverend  Mother  General  Digby, 
that  a  remark  made  by  Mother  Hardey  during  the  visit  to 
Roehampton  left  a  lasting  impression  upon  her.  "  When- 
ever you  propose  a  difficulty  to  our  Mother  General,"  she 
said,  "  have  the  remedy  prepared  to  offer  her,  in  order  to 
spare  our  Mother  the  fatigue  of  finding  the  solution."  This 
advice  reveals  Mother  Hardey's  delicate  consideration  for 
her  loved  superior,  whose  burden  she  strove  to  lighten 
whenever  it  was  in  her  power  to  do  so. 

On  their  return  to  Paris,  Mother  Lehon  requested 
Mother  Hardey  to  take  charge  of  the  day  school,  adjoining 
the  Mother  House.  Her  government  there,  as  elsewhere, 
might  be  summed  up  as  a  ministry  of  kindness  and  charity. 
One  of  her  daughters  writes :  "  Reverend  Mother's  guidance 

360 


VISITS  ENGLAND  AND  IRELAND 

was  a  strong  foundation  for  the  beginning  of  my  religious 
life.  When  I  arrived  at  the  Externat,  she  received  me  with 
maternal  goodness,  and  assigned  to  me  certain  duties  with 
the  parlor  boarders.  I  had  many  difficulties  to  overcome, 
but  I  felt  that  her  desire  for  my  success  was  proportioned  to 
the  obstacles  that  I  met  with.  What  she  sought  above  all 
else  was  my  progress  in  religious  perfection,  and  she  began 
by  compelling  me  to  overcome  my  timidity.  Neither  criti- 
cisms, nor  reproaches,  were  spared,  to  form  me  for  my  posi- 
tion. Her  own  life  was  a  revelation  of  the  nobility  of  obe- 
dience. I  was  frequently  edified  on  hearing  her  say :  '  I  am 
not  able  to  give  you  an  answer,  I  will  ask  our  Mother  Gen- 
eral. I  am  here  only  to  carry  out  her  wishes.'  Her  fidelity 
to  the  rule  served  as  a  living  example  to  us,  and  by  the 
delicacy  of  her  kindness  she  soon  gained  all  hearts." 

Another  writes :  "  Seeing  my  eagerness  to  know  more 
about  American  life  and  scenery,  Reverend  Mother  tried  in 
various  ways  to  gratify  my  desires.  If  I  made  inquiries 
about  any  special  writer,  or  noted  places,  she  was  sure  to 
present  me  a  few  weeks  later  with  a  book  containing  the 
needed  information.  Her  vigilance  extended  everywhere. 
During  the  recreation  hours,  she  often  assisted  at  the  pupils' 
games,  and  called  our  attention  to  what  should  be  exacted, 
or  forbidden." 

Mother  Hardey  took  a  maternal  interest  in  the  parlor 
boarders.  Indeed,  it  was  owing  to  her  initiative  that  this 
class  of  pupils  had  been  admitted.  The  work  was  abnormal, 
and  it  presented  unforeseen  difficulties,  but  her  patience  and 
tact  conquered  the  impediments  to  its  success.  The  greater 
number  of  these  pupils  were  Americans,  and  they  loved 
Mother  Hardey  and  trusted  in  her  with  filial  confidence. 
She  devoted  herself  to  the  formation  of  their  characters, 
and,  by  her  motherly  counsels,  encouraged  and  prepared 
them  for  future  needs. 

Her  charities  were  dispensed  with  a  delicacy  which  in- 
creased their  value.  Hearing  from  a  friend  that  a  woman  in 

361 


MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

great  want  was  ashamed  to  ask  for  succor,  she  employed 
her  as  seamstress  at  the  convent  and  managed  to  aid  her  to 
earn  extra  money  by  chaperoning  the  parlor  boarders. 
Americans  in  Paris  often  appealed  to  her  for  help.  On 
one  occasion  an  afflicted  youth  from  Syracuse,  N.  Y.,  made 
known  to  her  his  pitiable  condition.  He  had  crossed  the 
ocean  to  make  a  pilgrimage  to  Lourdes,  hoping  to  obtain 
the  cure  of  his  paralyzed  arm  and  leg.  By  the  time  he 
reached  Paris  his  funds  were  exhausted,  but  he  determined 
to  continue  his  journey  as  best  he  could,  feeling  sure  a 
miracle  awaited  him. 

Mother  Hardey  defrayed  his  expenses  and  occasionally 
sent  him  an  alms  during  the  weeks  he  spent  at  Lourdes. 
Letters,  touching  in  their  simplicity,  reached  her  in  return. 
"I  keep  calling  on  the  Blessed  Virgin,"  he  wrote,  "  but  she 
seems  to  be  deaf  to  my  appeal.  I  suppose  I  must  believe 
what  you  say,  that  it  will  be  for  the  good  of  my  soul,  if  I 
am  not  cured."  The  hoped  for  miracle  was  not  obtained, 
but  the  poor  fellow  received  the  grace  of  resignation  to  his 
painful  cross,  and  through  the  charity  of  Mother  Hardey 
he  was  enabled  to  return  home. 

"  When  Reverend  Mother  wished  to  obtain  a  particu- 
lar favor,"  writes  her  secretary,  "  her  charities  were  re- 
doubled, and  when  the  favor  was  granted,  her  thanks 
found  expression  in  new  acts  of  benevolence."  She  did  not 
like  to  see  money  spent  on  floral  offerings,  either  to  herself 
or  to  the  religious.  "  They  are  very  beautiful,  it  is  true," 
she  once  remarked,  "  and  they  certainly  speak  to  us  of  God, 
but  how  much  better  to  give  the  price  of  them  to  God  in 
the  poor."  In  accordance  with  this,  when  the  pupils 
gathered  around  her  on  the  Feast  of  St.  Aloysius  to  offer 
their  greetings,  they  presented  provisions  for  the  poor,  the 
fruit  of  their  little  sacrifices,  and  linen  for  the  altar,  the 
work  of  their  own  hands. 

As  soon  as  she  received  a  gift,  her  heart  suggested  its 
destination.  The  infirm  and  the  aged  were  the  special 

362 


VISITS  ENGLAND  AND  IRELAND 

objects  of  her  solicitude.  The  Sisters  frequently  re- 
marked, "  Reverend  Mother  is  just  like  our  Mother  Foun- 
dress, she  can  never  do  enough  for  the  sick."  "  I  was  at 
one  time  suffering,"  writes  one  of  the  Sisters,  "  from  a 
sprained  wrist,  which  no  remedy  seemed  to  help.  '  Since 
no  one  can  do  anything  for  you/  said  Reverend  Mother, 
'  I  will  see  what  I  can  do.'  She  spent  a  quarter  of  an  hour 
daily  bathing  and  rubbing  it,  and  in  a  few  weeks  it  was 
cured.  There  were  times  when  I  hesitated  to  enter  her 
room  on  account  of  the  lateness  of  the  hour,  but  she  never 
failed  to  send  for  me,  insisting  that  I  must  submit  to  the 
treatment  until  there  was  no  pain  left." 

"  One  who  looks  upon  the  sunset,"  we  are  told,  "  will 
have  his  face  golden."  As  Mother  Hardey's  soul  was  ever 
turned  toward  the  Sun  of  Justice,  it  is  not  surprising  that 
her  life  reflected  a  charity  all  Divine. 

The  earlier  half  of  the  decade  from  1880  to  1890  was  a 
period  of  rapid  expansion  for  the  Society  of  the  Sacred 
Heart,  especially  in  the  New  World.  The  foundation  in 
New  Zealand  was  followed  by  another  in  Buenos  Aires. 
Academies  were  opened  in  Boston,  New  York  City,  Omaha, 
Grosse  Pointe,  Michigan,  San  Francisco,  Porto  Rico,  Mex- 
ico and  Australia.  That  of  Mexico  was  of  special  interest 
to  Mother  Hardey,  as  Monseigneur  de  la  Bastida,  who  in- 
vited the  Religious  of  the  Sacred  Heart  to  Mexico,  had  been 
her  guest  at  Manhattanville  while  in  exile. 

In  1882  Mother  Hardey  was  sent  to  New  York,  for  the 
purpose  of  saving  the  Manhattanville  property.  The  en- 
croachments of  the  city  threatened  to  interfere  not  only 
with  the  privacy  of  the  grounds,  but  even  with  the  exist- 
ence of  the  buildings,  as  streets  had  been  mapped  out  to 
pass  through  the  principal  entrance.  It  was  evident  that 
the  realization  of  these  plans -would  force  the  religious  to 
abandon  Manhattanville,  and  many  friends  of  the  convent, 
seeing  no  alternative,  advised  an  immediate  purchase  of 
property  in  another  locality.  This  measure,  however,  was 

363 


MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

opposed  by  Mother  Hardey.  The  Institution  had  kept  pace 
with  the  growth  of  New  York,  and  having  acquired  a  na- 
tional reputation,  she  believed  that  change  of  name,  as  well 
as  change  of  place,  would  prove  detrimental  to  its  interests. 

All  instinctively  turned  to  her,  as  the  only  one  competent 
to  avert  the  threatening  danger.  Mother  Lehon  shared  this 
opinion,  and  when  the  necessity  of  action  became  impera- 
tive, she  decided  that  Mother  Hardey  should  return  to  New 
York.  In  her  humility,  the  latter  proposed  another,  as  she 
foresaw  that  the  undertaking  would  require  the  strongest 
personal  influence.  She  alleged  that  the  friends  who  had 
formerly  assisted  her  were  no  longer  there,  and  that  she 
could  not  hope  to  win  the  favor  of  strangers.  But  the 
Mother  General  held  to  her  decision.  Mother  Hardey  then 
repaired  to  Conflans,  to  spend  a  day  near  the  tomb  of 
Mother  Barat,  in  order  to  commend  to  her  intercession  her 
difficult  mission.  On  the  I2th  of  August  she  embarked  at 
Liverpool,  accompanied  by  her  secretary,  and  other  Ameri- 
can religious,  and  on  the  2Oth  reached  New  York. 

"  If  miracles  are  to  be  wrought,"  says  an  American 
author,  "  it  will  be  by  putting  our  hands  to  the  work  in  a 
simple,  undoubting  frame  of  mind,  without  so  much  as 
knowing  we  are  about  to  perform  a  wonder.  And  then  the 
marvel  is  not  so  much  made  by  us,  as  it  grows  under  our 
hands  and  out  of  our  hearts,  God  working  thus  through  His 
creatures."  It  was  in  this  "  undoubting  frame  of  mind," 
because  her  trust  was  in  heaven,  that  Mother  Hardey  set 
about  the  accomplishment  of  her  appointed  mission. 
Scarcely  had  she  arrived  at  Manhattanville  when  friends 
came  forward  with  the  most  cordial  proffers  of  assistance. 
They  even  tried  to  make  her  feel  that  the  acceptance  of  their 
services  would  be  a  much  appreciated  favor.  Those  who 
had  counselled  the  transfer  of  the  academy  now  adopted 
her  views,  that  every  effort  should  be  made  to  keep  the 
property,  and,  if  possible,  induce  the  city  authorities  to 
change  their  plans. 

364 


VISITS  ENGLAND  AND  IRELAND 

Long  and  wearisome  negotiations  followed,  leaving  at 
times  but  faint  hopes  of  success.  But  the  marvel  was 
wrought.  Mother  Hardey  decided  upon  a  division  of  the 
land,  opening  streets  through  the  lower  end  of  the  property, 
and  building  a  row  of  cottages  along  the  line  of  a  street 
mapped  out  on  the  plan  of  the  city.  With  her  wonderful 
foresight,  she  proposed  the  sale  of  land  on  the  three  sides 
of  the  convent  grounds,  where  streets  and  avenues  would 
likely  be  opened,  and  by  her  judicious  management  the  In- 
stitution she  had  founded  was  once  more  saved. 

Though  occupied  with  the  pressing  business  which  had 
brought  her  to  America  at  the  opening  of  the  scholastic 
year,  she  gave  her  customary  explanations  of  the  rules 
and  regulations  of  the  school  for  half  an  hour  daily  during 
two  or  three  weeks.  It  was  her  last  active  service  in  the 
work  she  loved  so  much,  the  education  of  youth.  This  ex- 
planation, annually  repeated  in  the  presence  of  religious  and 
pupils,  secures  discipline,  and  binds  together  mistresses  and 
children  as  a  family  in  the  Sacred  Heart.  At  her  first  con- 
ference, opening  the  volume  before  her,  she  said :  "  The  best 
laws  would  be  of  no  avail,  if  not  observed,  hence  the  title  of 
this  book,  '  Rules  and  Regulations  of  the  Academy  of  the 
Sacred  Heart.'  The  rules  are  there,  and  the  regulations  are 
made  to  secure  their  observance.  The  rules  of  the  school  are  a 
contract,  between  the  teachers,  your  parents  and  yourselves. 
We  promise  your  parents  to  watch  over  your  health,  to  cul- 
tivate your  minds,  to  correct  your  faults,  and  to  teach  you 
how  to  love  and  serve  God.  Your  parents  promise  that  you 
will  be  faithful  to  your  part  of  the  contract,  otherwise  we 
would  not  receive  you.  Your  first  obligation  is  to  learn  the 
rules,  that  you  may  know  what  is  required  of  you ;  and  the 
second  is  that  you  observe  the  rules,  for  we  require  nothing 
that  is  not  for  your  good.  The  book  which  I  hold  says, 
'  By  the  exact  observance  of  the  rule,  the  children  will 
merit  the  beautiful  title  of  Children  of  the  Sacred  Heart.' 
Ah !  how  you  should  prize  that  title !  Ask  the  former  pupils 

365 


MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

of  Manhattanville,  ask  the  former  pupils  of  any  of  our 
schools  whether  they  are  happy  to  be  called  '  Children  of 
the  Sacred  Heart/  You  know  well  what  their  answer 
would  be." 

After  other  preliminary  remarks,  Mother  Hardey  said: 
"  On  entering  the  school  of  the  Sacred  Heart,  the  pupils 
become  members  of  a  large  family.  In  a  family,  all  is  in 
common,  so  when  you  enter  here,  your  interests  become  our 
interests,  your  joys  our  joys,  and  your  sorrows,  I  hope  you 
may  have  none,  but  if  you  have,  you  will  find  true  mothers, 
ready  to  share  them  with  you."  The  pupils  were  so  touched 
by  this  assurance  that  two  hundred  voices  cried  out  spon- 
taneously, "  Oh,  thank  you,  thank  you,  Reverend  Mother." 

On  this  idea  of  a  family  she  based  her  instructions.  "  To 
secure  peace  and  sympathy  in  a  family,"  she  said,  "  it  is 
necessary  that  all  its  members  have  the  same  manner  of 
acting,  of  judging,  and  of  viewing  things.  In  order  to  do 
this,  we  are  obliged  to  correct  our  defects.  We  are  all  born 
with  passions  which  must  be  subdued,  evil  inclinations 
which  must  be  controlled.  The  combat  we  are  obliged  to 
carry  on  against  our  fallen  nature  is  often  a  terrible  struggle, 
but  it  is  meritorious  in  the  sight  of  God,  and  of  absolute 
necessity,  if  we  wish  to  be  members  of  a  well  ordered 
family."  Dwelling  upon  the  virtues  essential  to  the  forma- 
tion of  character,  she  said :  "  Charity  is  the  holy  influence 
that  should  cast  its  spell  over  your  lives,  making  you  gentle, 
patient,  forgiving,  quick  to  see  the  virtues  of  others,  ready 
to  excuse  their  faults,  strong  to  crush  self-love  and  generous 
to  sympathize  in  the  joys  and  sorrows  of  others."  She 
dwelt  very  impressively  upon  the  evil  of  gossip,  sarcasm, 
unjust  criticism,  all  of  which  tend  to  wound  the  family 
spirit.  She  enjoined  restraint  of  the  tongue  as  a  safeguard 
against  sin,  and  a  power  in  the  acquisition  of  self-control, 
and  finally  showed  how  charity  was  the  distinguishing  trait 
of  a  true  child  of  the  Sacred  Heart. 

In  regard  to  the  respect  due  to  parents  and  those  who 

366 


VISITS  ENGLAND  AND  IRELAND 

hold  their  place,  she  said :  "  You  do  not  know  what  you 
have  cost  your  parents,  nor  what  sacrifices  they  are  im- 
posing on  themselves  for  your  sake.  You  will  never  be 
able  to  repay  the  debt  of  gratitude  and  love  you  owe  them. 
Try,  then,  to  be  so  docile  while  at  school,  that  the  habit  of 
obedience  may  make  you  loving  and  dutiful  children  in  your 
own  homes."  Commenting  on  the  vigilance  exercised  over 
them,  she  said :  "  You  are  never  alone ;  your  mistresses  are 
with  you  day  and  night;  like  your  Guardian  Angels,  they 
never  lose  sight  of  you." 

Dwelling  upon  the  branches  of  study  included  in  the 
plan  of  education,  she  showed  how  they  tend  to  mold  the 
character  and  enlighten  the  mind.  She  urged  them  to  pur- 
sue their  studies  through  high  motives.  "  You  will  have  to 
render  an  account  to  God  of  the  talents  He  has  given  you. 
Study  through  a  sense  of  duty,  to  please  your  heavenly 
Father,  to  gratify  your  parents  and  to  become  useful,  happy 
women." 

"  Religion,"  it  has  been  said,  "  is  man's  supreme  effort 
to  rise  above  nature  and  his  natural  self;  it  gives  him  a 
definite  aim  and  an  absolute  ideal."  This  was  the  grand 
truth  which  Mother  Hardey  endeavored  to  convey  to  the 
young  souls  looking  up  to  her  for  light.  "  Let  your  religion 
be  practical,"  she  said.  "  Your  faith  must  find  expression  in 
works.  To  the  grateful  heart  prayer  is  a  necessity,  to  the 
loving  heart  it  is  a  joy."  We  find  the  sequel  to  these  in- 
structions in  the  conferences  which  she  gave  about  the  same 
time  to  the  mistresses.  "  Remember  you  are  consecrated  to 
the  education  of  youth,"  she  told  them.  "  Your  profession 
is  not  one  that  you  are  at  liberty  to  take  up  or  abandon  at 
pleasure.  Education  begins  with  the  heart.  Never  try  to 
force  or  drive  a  child,  lead  her  by  means  of  gentleness  and 
religion.  Your  rule  tells  you  that  you  must  instill  into  the 
hearts  of  your  children  the  fear  of  God  and  horror  of  sin, 
a  horror  not  only  of  grave  faults,  but  of  all  that  could  tar- 
nish the  beauty  of  their  souls.  Be  living  models  of  the  vir- 

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MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

tues  you  seek  to  implant  in  their  hearts.  You  must  your- 
self love  study,  if  you  wish  to  give  your  children  a  love  for 
it.  We  cannot  impart  what  we  do  not  possess.  Understand 
well  that  your  own  education  is  never  finished,  therefore 
continue  daily  to  cultivate  your  minds,  that  you  may  be 
better  fitted  to  cultivate  the  minds  of  your  pupils.  They 
will  be  just  what  you  make  them,  and  you  will  make  them 
just  what  you  are.  Such  a  mistress,  such  a  child." 

At  the  opening  of  the  year  1883,  she  gave  her  daughters  a 
motto  full  of  inspiration  for  souls  that  are  pledged  to  glorify 
the  Heart  of  Jesus :  "  Let  all  your  actions  during  this  year, 
be  performed  for  the  Sacred  Heart,  in  the  Sacred  Heart  and 
with  the  Sacred  Heart.  Devotion  to  the  Sacred  Heart 
should  be  your  only  passion." 

When  the  business  affairs  of  Manhattanville  permitted, 
Mother  Hardey  paid  a  brief  visit  to  the  other  houses  of  the 
New  York  Vicariate.  The  joy  of  her  welcome  at  Clifton  was 
overcast,  because  two  of  her  devoted  friends  came  not,  as 
formerly,  to  give  her  cordial  greeting.  The  Very  Reverend 
Edward  Purcell  had  died  the  preceding  year,  and  his  vener- 
able brother,  the  archbishop,  was  nearing  the  close  of  his 
life  at  the  Ursuline  convent  in  Brown  County,  where  he 
died  on  July  4,  1883.  The  sad  events  which  had  marked  the 
closing  years  of  these  two  friends,  elicited  Mother  Hardey's 
deepest  sympathy. 

Her  tender  compassion  for  the  sick,  led  her  to  establish 
a  convent  at  Atlantic  City,  where,  under  the  influence  of 
pure  air  and  sea-bathing,  her  invalid  daughters  might  re- 
cover health  and  strength.  She  herself  opened  the  academy 
and  attended  to  all  the  details  of  the  foundation.  As  there 
was  no  Catholic  school  on  the  island,  she  made  plans  for 
the  erection  of  a  free  school,  which  later  on  was  so  well 
patronized  that  about  one  hundred  and  fifty  pupils  were  in 
attendance. 

As  the  year  advanced  Mother  Hardey  seemed  to  grow 
more  and  more  eager  to  render  service  to  others.  Briefly, 

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VISITS  ENGLAND  AND  IRELAND 

but  impressively,  she  sought  to  animate  her  daughters  to 
ardor  in  the  service  of  God,  exhorting  them  "  to  glorify  the 
Sacred  Heart  of  Jesus  in  word  and  work.  Be  faithful  to  the 
duties  of  your  vocation,  kind  and  gentle  to  your  sisters, 
mothers  to  the  children,  and  serious  in  the  pursuit  of  your 
perfection."  Her  acts  of  kindness  and  charity  were  daily 
multiplied.  Wherever  there  was  good  to  be  done,  or  hearts 
to  be  made  happy,  she  was  sure  to  seize  the  opportunity. 
The  following  characteristic  letter  of  Reverend  Father  Ful- 
ton, S.  J.,  shows  the  writer's  appreciation  of  Mother  Har- 
dey's  worth : 

"DEAR  REV.  MOTHER:  "BOSTON,  Jan.  11,  1884. 

"  Coming  home  this  afternoon  I  found  your  splendid  gift 
of  altar  cloths  of  which  I  had  heard  nothing  previously.  I 
think  you  mean  them  for  St.  Inigo's.  I  shall  therefore  send 
them  to  the  place  upon  which  you  have  already  showered 
benefits.  It  will  please  you  to  learn  that  our  enterprise 
there  is  well  carried  out  by  the  incumbent,  Father  Walker, 
that  St.  Inigo's  will  bloom  once  more.  According  to  the 
fashion  in  Boston  (my  home),  New  Year's  congratulations 
run  through  the  month  of  January.  I  avail  myself  of  this 
privilege.  You  have  already,  Rev.  Mother,  won  perhaps  the 
first  place  in  our  Catholic  history.  You  must  not  be  satis- 
fied. Cicero  said  to  Caesar :  '  You  may  have  lived  long 
enough  for  yourself,  you  have  not  lived  long  enough  for 
your  country  and  your  glory.'  You,  dear  Rev.  Mother,  have 
not  lived  long  enough  for  your  Order  and  for  us.  So,  with- 
out scruple,  I  pray  for  you  the  Spanish  thousand  years  of 
life.  I  am,  dear  Rev.  Mother, 

"  Yours  most  gratefully, 

"  ROBERT  FULTON,  S.  J." 

Mother  Hardey  was  at  this  time  suffering  from  a 
severe  attack  of  bronchitis.  As  her  lungs  gave  cause 
tor  anxiety,  her  physician  prescribed  absolute  rest  and 

*4  369 


MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

silence.  At  his  next  visit  he  inquired,  "  Madame,  does  it 
pain  you  to  talk  ? "  "  How  do  I  know,  doctor,"  she  an- 
swered, "  you  told  me  not  to  speak !  "  To  his  amazement 
the  doctor  learned  that  for  more  than  twenty-four  hours 
the  obedient  invalid  had  made  known  her  wishes  only  by 
signs.  "  Ah !  Madame,"  he  exclaimed,  "  if  all  my  lady  pa- 
tients were  as  obedient  as  you,  it  would  be  easy  to  cure 
them." 

Mother  Hardey  recovered  from  this  attack,  but  the  re- 
prieve was  followed  by  another  illness,  still  more  serious, 
congestion  of  the  liver.  At  first  the  symptoms  were  very 
alarming,  but  skillful  treatment  arrested  the  progress  of 
the  disease.  As  soon  as  she  was  a  little  better  the  invalid 
requested  the  doctor  to  hasten  her  cure,  as  she  wished  to 
sail  for  France  on  the  I3th  of  February.  "  Impossible,"  he 
replied.  "  Madame,  it  is  madness  for  you  to  entertain  such 
a  project.  You  would  risk  your  life,  even  if  you  were  well, 
by  crossing  the  ocean  at  this  season."  With  her  usual 
calmness  she  answered :  "  Doctor,  what  seems  madness  to 
you  is  obedience  for  me,  therefore,  I  count  upon  your  skill 
to  make  me  well  enough  for  the  voyage." 

Mother  Lehon  had  announced  the  convocation  of  a  Gen- 
eral Council  for  the  close  of  February,  and  she  had  ex- 
pressed the  desire  for  Mother  Hardey  to  attend  it.  To 
Mother  Hardey  the  wish  of  her  superior  was  an  indication 
of  the  will  of  God,  and  she  determined  to  obey.  When  some 
of  her  daughters  reiterated  the  physician's  warning  they 
were  silenced  by  her  usual  assurance,  "  If  God  wills  it,  He 
will  give  me  the  necessary  strength."  To  test  her  condition 
she  took  a  trip  to  Atlantic  City,  where  she  remained  a  few 
days.  She  then  returned  to  Manhattanville  to  prepare  for 
her  approaching  departure.  It  seemed  a  great  risk  in  her 
feeble  condition,  but  her  daughters  dared  not  oppose  her. 
They  felt,  however,  that  this  would  be  her  last  farewell  to 
America,  and  it  was  with  grieving  hearts  that  they  listened 
to  her  parting  words :  "  Be  faithful  to  Rule,  be  humble  in 

370 


VISITS  ENGLAND  AND  IRELAND 

heart,  and  you  will  glorify  the  Heart  of  Jesus  in  time  and 
in  eternity.  On  February  13,  1884,  accompanied  by  the 
American  vicars  and  her  new  secretary,  Madame  Crasser, 
Mother  Hardey  sailed  for  France,  weak  in  body,  but  strong 
in  spirit,  determined  to  accomplish  the  Divine  Will,  even 
at  the  cost  of  life  itself. 


371 


CHAPTER  XXIX. 
CHARACTERISTIC  VIRTUES   OF   REVEREND   MOTHER   HARDEY. 

While  following  Mother  Hardey's  long  career  the 
thought  has  continually  recurred  to  us,  that  she  is  best 
studied  in  the  Rules  of  her  Institute.  "  To  secure  to  the 
Heart  of  Jesus  the  worship  of  love  and  adoration,  to  make 
known  Its  divine  attractions  and  to  imitate  its  virtues," 
such  was  the  grand  purpose  of  her  life.  In  two  words  she 
once  sketched  the  portrait  of  a  true  Religious  of  the  Sacred 
Heart,  "  One  who  has  the  zeal  of  an  apostle,  and  the  love  of 
a  spouse."  This  was  a  faithful  outline  of  her  own  soul. 
The  outward  manifestation  of  her  love  gives  us  the  key  to 
her  inner  life.  One  evening  before  retiring,  she  asked  for 
her  meditation  book,  and  opening  the  volume  she  read, 
"  Heart  of  Jesus,  Ocean  of  Goodness,  have  Mercy."  After 
a  moment's  reflection  she  returned  the  book,  saying,  "  That 
will  do ;  I  find  all  in  that  one  sentence."  It  was  true,  the 
goodness  of  the  Sacred  Heart  was  her  abiding  thought,  the 
source  of  all  her  inspirations,  the  strength  of  all  her  enter- 
prises. Her  devotion  found  its  truest  expression  in  an  abid- 
ing sense  of  the  presence  of  God.  Her  duties  demanded 
great  activity,  much  travel  and  frequent  intercourse  with 
the  outer  world ;  yet  her  spiritual  exercises  always  took  pre- 
cedence of  every  other  claim.  They  were  never  omitted, 
never  abridged,  but  usually  prolonged.  Who  that  ever  saw 
Mother  Hardey  before  the  Blessed  Sacrament  could  forget 
her  profound  reverence?  It  was  the  hour  of  intimate  com- 
muning with  the  Beloved  of  her  soul,  the  spouse  at  the  feet 
of  the  Bridegroom,  the  apostle  at  the  side  of  the  Master, 
rekindling  the  fire  of  zeal.  The  hours  spent  before  the  altar 
were  truly  the  hours  of  study  and  contemplation.  And 
what  were  the  lessons  learned?  The  works  of  her  life  give 
answer.  The  virtues  whose  example  forms  a  rich  inherit- 


CHARACTERISTIC  VIRTUES 

ance  for  her  daughters  found  their  inspiration  and  virility 
in  the  silence  of  the  sanctuary. 

Prayer  was  a  necessity  to  her  grateful  heart,  a  joy  to  her 
loving  heart,  and  when  she  had  finished  her  devotions,  and 
passed  out  from  the  chapel,  she  still  appeared  to  breathe  the 
atmosphere  of  the  sanctuary,  the  serene  and  glowing  counte- 
nance, the  joined  hands,  the  measured  step,  all  betokened 
her  intimate  union  with  the  Beloved  of  her  soul.  On  one 
occasion  a  religious  who  entered  her  room  as  she  returned 
from  the  chapel,  was  so  startled  by  the  heavenly  light  which 
illumined  her  countenance,  that  she  stood  gazing  at  her 
without  uttering  a  word.  Mother  Hardey  waited  a  few 
moments  for  her  to  speak,  then  quietly  said :  "  Sister,  if  you 
have  no  other  business  than  to  look  at  me,  you  may  go !  " 
The  religious  left  the  room,  still  under  the  influence  of  that 
supernatural  light,  and  having  mentioned  the  circumstance 
to  one  of  the  Mothers  the  latter  assured  her  that  it  was 
not  at  all  unusual,  as  she  and  others  had  frequently  re- 
marked a  similar  radiance  when  their  Mother  returned  from 
prayer. 

"  Perfection,"  says  Cardinal  Manning,  "  consists  in  the 
illumination  of  the  intellect,  the  sanctification  of  the  heart, 
and  the  union  of  the  will  with  the  will  of  God."  Light, 
holiness  and  submission  were  the  precious  fruits  which 
Mother  Hardey  gathered  in  prayer.  In  one  of  her  letters  to 
Mother  Barat,  she  mentions  having  engaged  herself,  by 
vow,  to  the  practice  of  the  two  resolutions  of  her  retreat: 
First.  Never  to  delay  doing  what  God  asks.  Second,  To 
make  her  spiritual  exercises,  her  meditation,  especially, 
with  scrupulous  fidelity.  "  Yet,"  she  adds,  "  my  confessor 
would  not  allow  me  to  take  this  vow  until  I  had  fulfilled 
its  obligations  for  a  considerable  time." 

One  of  the  most  prominent  features  of  her  spiritual  char- 
acter was  her  loving  acceptance  of  the  Divine  Will.  God 
was  the  centre  of  her  being,  and  the  constant  habit  of  turn- 
ing her  glance  towards  Him,  by  interior  recollection,  gave 

373 


MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

a  marked  composure  to  all  she  said  and  did.  "  I  am  accus- 
tomed to  visit  my  elect  in  two  manner  of  ways,"  says  the 
Imitation,  "  namely,  by  trial  and  by  consolation."  It  was 
difficult  for  an  observer  to  distinguish  under  which  form  the 
Divine  Guest  came  to  Mother  Hardey.  Her  outward  self- 
possession  was  a  reflection  of  the  serenity  which  pervaded 
her  soul,  and  maintained  there  always  the  blessed  peace 
which  St.  Augustine  defines  as  "  the  tranquillity  of  order." 
If  the  Spouse  came  in  trial,  or  desolation,  He  found  peace, 
He  left  peace,  and  the  breath  of  this  peace  disseminated  a 
holy  calm  in  the  hearts  of  those  around  her.  It  used  to  be 
remarked  by  the  family  of  a  former  pupil  of  Manhattanville, 
"  Margaret  must  have  seen  Mother  Hardey  to-day,  she  is 
so  happy  and  peaceful." 

Mother  Hardey's  devotion  to  the  Blessed  Virgin  was 
tender  and  practical.  Born  on  the  Feast  of  the  Immaculate 
Conception,  baptized  Mary  in  her  honor,  she  had  a  child's 
confidence  in  the  Mother  of  God.  We  have  seen  in  several 
instances  of  her  life  how  that  confidence  was  rewarded.  In 
all  her  travels,  by  sea  and  land,  she  never  met  with  an  acci- 
dent. This  preservation  she  attributed  to  the  recitation  of 
the  Salve  Regina,  with  which  she  always  started  on  her 
journey.  The  fifteen  decades  of  the  Rosary  formed  a  part 
of  her  daily  devotions,  and  also  the  Office  of  our  Lady 
until  she  was  unable  to  recite  it.  But  she  was  always  pres- 
ent when  the  office  was  being  chanted  in  choir,  and  she 
paid  the  greatest  attention  to  every  detail  of  the  rubrics. 
She  said  the  Stabat  Mater  as  she  lay  down  to  rest,  and  the 
Thirty  Days  Prayer  was  such  a  favorite  devotion  that  she 
knew  it  by  heart.  An  ardent  devotion  to  our  Lady  char- 
acterized the  community  of  Manhattanville,  hence  we  find 
in  one  of  Father  Gresselin's  letters :  "  Oh,  what  an  angelic 
house  you  have  to  govern ;  it  is  the  favorite  abode,  the  per- 
fumed garden  of  the  Queen  of  Heaven !  I  know  of  no  place 
where  a  soul  can  enjoy  greater  peace  and  glorify  God  more 
abundantly,  than  at  Manhattanville." 

374 


CHARACTERISTIC  VIRTUES 

We  do  not  pretend  to  attribute  to  Mother  Hardey  any 
extraordinary  favors  or  revelations,  such  as  many  of  the 
saints  have  enjoyed,  but  we  find  allusions  to  certain  graces 
in  Father  Gresselin's  letters,  which  lead  us  to  believe  that 
the  Spirit  of  God  manifested  His  love  to  His  faithful  servant 
at  times  in  an  unusual  manner.  After  pointing  out  to  his 
penitent  in  what  way  her  life  should  be  a  continual  holocaust 
of  love,  her  director  adds :  "  This  is  what  must  result  from 
your  interview  with  Our  Lord  in  Cuba,"  and  he  goes  on  to 
say :  "  There  was  later  another  interview  in  the  same  place. 
The  Heart  of  Mary  also  showed  itself,  and  made  you  under- 
stand that  He  has  poured  into  her  heart  all  the  treasures  of 
charity,  and  that  He  wishes  you  to  see  and  love  only  her 
and  what  is  offered  by  her.  Never  forget  that  you  then 
understood  and  received  the  full  conviction,  that  you  must 
go  to  the  Heart  of  Jesus,  through  the  Heart  of  Mary.  This 
was  a  choice  grace,  and  you  must  never  let  the  memory  of 
it  fade  from  your  mind."  And  again  he  writes :  "  The  grace 
of  December  8th  is  also  a  grace  of  the  first  order,  it  is  not 
extraordinary  in  the  sense  that  God  wills  to  give  it  to  many 
souls.  It  is  not  extraordinary  in  the  kind  of  visions  and 
ecstacies,  which  are  outside  the  ways  of  Providence.  It  is 
extraordinary  only  because  few  persons  find  the  way  that 
leads  to  it.  With  you,  it  was  a  recompense  for  your  ardent 
desires  for  the  glorification  of  Mary." 

One  whose  life  is  passed  in  close  union  with  God  is 
not  deluded  by  a  false  estimate  of  self.  She  recognizes  her 
gifts  as  the  endowments  of  an  infinite  love,  and  her  one  de- 
sire is  to  consecrate  them  to  the  service  of  the  Divine  Giver. 
Success  and  praise  may  crown  her  toil,  but  she  claims  noth- 
ing for  herself.  The  word  of  the  Psalmist  rings  in  her 
heart,  "  Not  unto  us,  Lord,  but  unto  Thy  Name  be  glory !  " 
Although  her  labors  were  followed  by  brilliant  results,  in 
the  words  of  the  Rule,  Mother  Hardey  referred  all  the  glory 
thereof  faithfully  to  the  Heart  of  Jesus,  the  source  of  every 
good,  and  to  the  strength  given  by  the  Society,  and  the 

375 


MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

goodness  of  the  venerable  foundress  and  her  successors. 
At  the  close  of  one  of  her  annual  retreats,  she  wrote  to 
Mother  Barat :  "  What  Our  Lord  asks  of  me  above  all,  is 
the  generous  practice  of  the  third  degree  of  humility,  to  be 
despised,  falsely  accused,  blamed  and  contemned,  in  order 
to  detach  me  from  creatures,  and  His  will  is  so  clear  to  me 
in  this  respect  that  I  cannot  find  it  difficult  to  accept." 

The  Secretary  General  once  wrote  her  a  rather  severe 
reprimand.  In  reply  she  says  to  Mother  Barat :  "  Let  this 
dear  Mother  be  assured  of  the  pleasure  she  gives  me  in 
being  so  frank.  She  could  not  render  me  greater  service 
than  by  telling  me  what  I  should  do  or  should  have  done.  It 
seems  to  me  that  I  desire  to  serve  God  and  the  Society,  and 
I  am  always  happy  to  know  in  what  I  fail.  Let  her  have 
the  goodness  to  continue  her  charity,  she  will  always  find 
me  grateful."  Writing  to  Mother  Barat  in  1853,  she  says: 
"  How  sweet  it  is  to  have  a  Mother  to  whom  one  can  tell 
everything.  My  greatest  temptation  for  some  months  past 
is  to  throw  myself  at  your  feet  and  conjure  you  to  place 
me  where  I  will  have  no  responsibility."  On  another  occa- 
sion she  writes,  "  I  thank  you  sincerely,  my  Very  Reverend 
Mother,  for  having  told  me  the  complaints  you  have  heard. 
I  promise  to  correct  what  is  true  and  to  avoid  what  is  not 
true."  Referring  to  a  religious  who  had  left  the  Society, 
she  says,  "  May  I,  at  least,  die  in  the  Society !  After  th<* 
mercy  of  God,  I  feel  that  I  shall  owe  this  grace  to  the 
patience  of  my  first  Mother." 

Another  form  of  humility  is  practical  poverty.  She 
would  never  permit  any  useless  articles  either  for  herself 
or  the  community.  Her  clothing  was  worn  until  no  longer 
fit  for  use.  She  would  never  permit  any  exceptions  from 
the  established  customs,  and  her  observant  eye  was  sure  to 
detect  any  innovation  in  regard  to  poverty.  Yet  she 
watched  with  motherly  solicitude  over  the  needs  of  her 
daughters  and  contrived  to  pass  over  to  others  what  the 
love  of  her  children  provided  for  herself.  The  religious 

376 


1  Kenwood 

2  Chapel  at  Kenwood 


CHARACTERISTIC  VIRTUES 

charged  with  the  wardrobe  was  often  in  desolation  over  the 
loss  of  flannels  and  warm  shoes  during  the  winter,  and  on 
inquiry  she  would  find  members  of  the  community  wearing 
the  articles  marked  with  Mother  Hardey's  number,  the  dear 
Mother  herself  rejoicing  in  the  privation  of  them.  In  her 
conferences  to  the  community  Mother  Hardey  insisted  upon 
the  love  of  poverty,  as  well  as  the  practice  of  it,  no  matter 
how  great  were  the  resources  of  the  house.  "  Our  obliga- 
tions are  the  same,"  she  said,  "  whether  we  are  living  in  a 
poor  or  in  a  rich  house.  Were  the  walls  of  the  convent  lined 
with  gold  we  could  not  be  permitted  more  than  the  rule 
allows."  She  did  not  like  complaints  to  be  made  at  recrea- 
tion of  heat  or  cold,  food  or  lodging,  and  her  own  example 
in  this  respect  was  an  eloquent  lesson. 

We  are  told  that  the  first  foundation  of  any  spiritual 
work  is  a  detached  heart.  Neither  birth,  fortune,  talent  or 
genius  can  equal  it  in  value.  Even  those  who  had  only  a 
casual  acquaintance  with  Mother  Hardey  were  impressed 
by  her  spirit  of  detachment.  She  could  not  understand  how 
a  religious  could  put  personal  consideration  before  the 
general  good.  An  infirmarian  having  complained  that  the 
infirmary  was  always  occupied,  she  answered :  "  Sister,  the 
infirmary  belongs  to  the  sick,  and  while  they  are  there  God's 
blessing  is  on  the  house.  I  would  be  uneasy  if  it  were 
vacant,  and  you  ought  to  regret  that  you  were  out  of  em- 
ployment. A  doctor  is  never  happier  than  when  he  is  build- 
ing up  his  practice,  so  should  you  rejoice  in  the  number  of 
your  patients."  We  have  seen  how  Mother  Hardey  offered 
herself  for  the  mission  in  Chile,  thinking  that  she  was  an- 
ticipating the  wishes  of  the  Mother  General.  How  heroic 
her  sacrifice  in  leaving  her  field  of  labor  in  America  at  the 
voice  of  obedience !  And  with  what  simplicity  it  was  made  ! 
Not  a  word  of  regret,  nor  the  slightest  indication  of  the 
heart  suffering  which  she  endured  at  the  prospect  of  the 
bitter  separation  from  all  that  was  dearest  here  below. 

"  After  the  news  of  her  nomination  as  Assistant  General 

377 


MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

had  reached  America,"  writes  her  secretary,  "  she  received 
heart-rending  letters  from  all  our  houses.  One  day  she  found 
me  bathed  in  tears  whilst  reading  them.  Looking  at  me 
thoughtfully,  she  said :  '  Sister,  when  we  make  a  sacrifice, 
let  us  make  it/  and  then  she  left  the  room.  One  of  the 
Mothers,  shortly  after  our  arrival,  remarked  how  much  Rev- 
erend Mother  must  miss  America,  '  This  is  my  America/ 
she  answered,  pointing  to  her  little  room,  and  no  further 
reference  to  her  feelings  was  possible." 

Mother  Hardey  was  very  chary  of  her  words,  and  she 
had  few  idle  ones  to  answer  for  when  her  book  of  life  was 
closed.  Once  when  speaking  to  one  of  her  daughters  of  the 
value  of  silence  she  said :  "  Every  morning  I  confide  the 
care  of  my  tongue  to  St.  Joseph.  The  Gospel  does  not  men- 
tion a  single  word  of  his."  On  being  asked  the  formula  of 
her  prayer,  she  answered  very  simply :  "  Dear  St.  Joseph  to 
you  I  consecrate  my  tongue,  teach  me  how  to  speak  little, 
and  that  little  prudently." 

Mother  Hardey's  judgments  were  quickly  formed,  but 
her  self-control  prevented  her  from  acting  on  the  impulse 
of  the  moment.  She  always  took  time  for  reflection  and 
prayer.  One  who  lived  intimately  with  her  for  many  years 
tells  us :  "  It  was  remarkable  how  she  could  solve  in  a 
few  words  the  most  intricate  matters,  foresee  and  settle 
disputed  points  of  business,  map  out  a  line  of  action,  etc. 
Her  language  though  simple  was  choice.  She  never  made 
use  of  common-place  expressions,  exaggerated  or  compli- 
mentary phrases;  never  talked  of  what  she  had  done  or 
was  going  to  do.  One  rarely  ever  heard  her  say,  '  I/  it  was 
always  '  we/  when  she  expressed  a  wish  or  referred  to  any 
subject  under  discussion.  I  have  seen  her  on  many  occa- 
sions when  her  silence  was  carried  to  a  heroic  degree.  Of 
disappointments,  annoyances,  misrepresentations,  there  was 
no  stint,  but  she  bore  all  with  unvarying  silence.  She  be- 
lieved that  to  talk  of  one's  sufferings  marred  their  beauty 
in  the  sight  of  God." 

378 


CHARACTERISTIC  VIRTUES 

A  long  continued  exercise  of  authority  often  diminishes 
the  spirit  of  dependence  upon  the  higher  powers,  but  it  was 
not  so  with  Mother  Hardey.  Though  called  at  an  early  age 
to  share  in  the  government  of  the  Society,  she  always  kept 
the  attitude  of  one  who  leaned  upon  a  higher  authority. 
Mother  Barat  once  said :  "  Before  giving  an  order,  or 
intimating  a  desire  to  Mother  Hardey,  I  must  weigh  the 
matter  thoroughly,  for  it  will  be  immediately  executed." 
Mother  Hardey  exacted  this  dependence  upon  authority, 
even  to  the  lowest  officer  in  the  house.  "  Do  not  look  at  the 
individual  who  commands,"  she  would  say,  "  her  qualities 
do  not  affect  her  orders.  The  soldier  on  the  battle  field  does 
not  stop  to  consider  whether  his  superior  officer  is  pleasing 
to  him,  he  simply  obeys." 

Explaining  this  virtue  in  one  of  her  instructions  to  her 
probationists,  she  says :  "  You  know  the  Constitutions  of  the 
Society.  You  have  promised  obedience  to  our  Mother  Gen- 
eral, but  as  she  cannot  direct  personally  all  the  houses,  she 
has  confided  to  others  a  part  of  her  authority;  in  disobey- 
ing them  you  disobey  her,  in  criticising  their  orders  you  are 
criticising  hers.  Not  only  do  you  disobey  the  Mother  Gen- 
eral, but  you  disobey  God  Himself,  for  He  says  in  the  Scrip- 
ture : '  He  that  hears  you  hears  Me.'  Obedience  is  the  char- 
acteristic trait  of  the  Society.  Our  Holy  Father  the  Pope 
has  given  us  a  magnificent  testimony  of  it.  A  Carmelite, 
having  asked  to  be  released  from  her  vows,  in  order 
that  she  might  enter  the  Society  of  the  Sacred  Heart,  His 
Holiness  answered  that  he  would  do  so  most  willingly,  for 
if  among  the  Religious  of  the  Sacred  Heart  there  was  less 
corporal  austerities  than  at  Carmel,  nevertheless  he  con- 
sidered the  Institute  of  the  Sacred  Heart  more  perfect  on 
account  of  the  high  degree  to  which  it  carries  the  virtue  of 
obedience." 

On  one  occasion  a  mistress  at  Manhattanville  had  under- 
taken to  teach  a  dialogue  to  the  children,  without  having 
asked  permission  of  the  Mistress  General.  Mother  Hardey 

379 


MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

learned  of  the  affair,  but  said  nothing.  When  the  play  was 
ready  for  presentation,  the  religious  came  to  invite  her  su- 
perior to  assist  at  the  evening  entertainment.  Mother  Har- 
dey  looked  at  her  very  seriously  and  said :  "  Sister,  you  have 
been  doing  your  own  will  in  getting  up  this  entertainment, 
therefore  it  has  not  the  blessing  of  obedience.  Any  of  the 
community  who  wish  may  attend,  but  I  will  remain  at  the 
recreation."  Pleadings  and  excuses  were  of  no  avail,  for 
she  was  determined  to  give  her  daughter  a  lesson  in  sub- 
mission to  authority. 

Nothing  was  easier  than  to  acknowledge  a  fault  to 
Mother  Hardey.  It  was  at  once  forgiven  and  forgotten. 
Her  reprimands  were  sometimes  sharp,  even  severe,  but 
they  never  left  a  sting  in  the  heart,  and  the  culprit  could  not 
but  acknowledge  that  the  justice  administered  was  always 
tempered  with  maternal  goodness.  One  day  a  religious 
showed  unwillingness  to  go  to  the  school.  Mother  Hardey 
reminded  her  of  her  Fourth  Vow,  and  then  added :  "  If 
through  your  own  fault  you  are  not  employed  with  the  chil- 
dren you  will  have  to  answer  for  it  before  the  judgment 
seat  of  God." 

Her  advice  to  superiors  was  to  be  very  patient  and  pains- 
taking in  the  training  of  the  young  Mistresses:  "Do  not 
change  their  occupations  because  they  have  not  succeeded. 
It  is  by  failure  that  they  will  gain  experience.  Keep  up 
their  spirits.  There  is  nothing  so  depressing  as  to  be  con- 
sidered incapable  and  useless  from  the  very  start.  Guide, 
encourage  and  support  them  in  their  authority.  God  does 
not  require  what  is  best,  but  only  what  is  according  to 
obedience.  When  she  is  carefully  trained  a  young  religious 
of  ordinary  ability  can  be  made  to  do  wonders,  but  left  to 
herself  the  most  brilliant  teacher  will  wander  from  the  line 
of  duty." 

In  her  intimate  relations  with  her  daughters,  Mother 
Hardey's  words  were  brief  and  to  the  point.  One  who 
complained  of  being  greatly  disturbed  by  thoughts  of  vain 

380 


CHARACTERISTIC  VIRTUES 

glory  received  this  advice :  "  Think  of  God  and  not  of  your- 
self." "  You  have  disappointed  us,"  she  once  remarked  to  a 
young  Mistress  General,  who  asserted  her  authority  too 
plainly.  That  reproach  from  her  was  more  effectual  than 
a  long  lecture  from  another.  She  never  liked  to  hear  diffi- 
culties magnified,  nor  efforts  discouraged.  "  A  fault,"  she 
said,  "  can  be  repaired  by  another  trial,  and  failure  cancelled 
by  future  success." 

A  beautiful  feature  of  her  relations  with  her  daughters 
was  the  confidence  which  she  placed  in  them.  Whatever 
might  be  the  result  of  their  labors,  they  knew  that  their 
earnest  efforts  would  meet  with  her  commendation.  She 
was  as  much  interested  in  the  humblest  offices  of  the  house 
as  in  the  most  conspicuous.  The  Sisters  knew  well  that 
whatever  need  was  made  known  to  her  would  be  promptly 
supplied,  hence  the  joy  with  which  her  visits  were  welcomed 
at  their  various  employments. 

Mother  Hardey's  love  for  common  life  made  her  very 
guarded  in  countenancing  singular  and  extraordinary  prac- 
tices of  devotion.  "  Our  perfection,"  she  used  to  say,  "  is  to 
be  found  in  the  observance  of  the  Rule  and  not  outside  of  it. 
You  will  find  in  the  faithful  accomplishment  of  Rule  all  the 
mortification  you  can  desire.  The  mortifications  which  our 
Lord  sends  us  are  more  meritorious  than  those  of  our  own 
choosing."  Again  and  again  she  reminded  her  daughters 
that  if  the  austerities  of  contemplative  Orders  were  not 
enjoined  on  them,  they  must  nevertheless  lead  mortified 
lives  by  the  practice  of  habitual  self-abnegation  and  scrupu- 
lous fidelity  to  the  customary  corporal  penances  which  obe- 
dience sanctioned.  "  Delicate  health,"  she  used  to  say,  "  is 
no  excuse  for  neglecting  our  little  mortifications  at  the 
stated  times." 

A  passing  indisposition  did  not  escape  her  vigilant  eye, but 
she  had  the  faculty  of  watching  over  the  health  of  her  daugh- 
ters without  rendering  them  anxious  or  self-occupied.  "  It 
often  requires  more  abnegation  to  take  care  of  our  health," 

381 


MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

she  said,  "  than  to  neglect  it.  No  one  ever  lost  her  health  by 
being  faithful  to  Rule,  and  the  fewer  dispensations  we  accept 
the  better  our  health  will  be.  When  you  are  obliged  to 
give  up  some  point  of  common  life  give  yourself  no  ease 
until  you  can  return  to  it.  No  exception  from  common  life 
should  last  longer  than  a  month,  unless  one  is  in  really  bad 
health,  and  even  then  from  time  to  time  we  should  manage 
to  do  without  it." 

On  one  occasion,  when  suffering  from  a  severe  cold, 
Mother  Hardey  was  advised  to  retire  early.  She  came  as 
usual  to  night  prayers,  and  as  the  Mother  Assistant  was 
surprised,  she  said:  "A  half  an  hour  sooner  in  bed  is  a 
small  gain,  but  a  dispensation  from  Rule  is  a  great  loss !  " 
We  have  seen  how  Mother  Hardey's  instructions  to  her 
daughters  reflected  her  own  mind  and  character.  A  great 
truth  on  her  lips  seemed  to  have  a  deeper  meaning,  because 
of  the  simplicity  and  earnestness  with  which  it  was  pre- 
sented. It  was,  however,  her  life  that  gave  force  to  her 
words.  Her  example  preceded  her  exhortations,  hence  it 
was  easy  to  obey  them. 

It  has  been  truly  said  of  her :  "  Wherever  she  has  lived 
there  are  grateful  hearts  made  happy  by  her  kindness,  pure 
hearts  sheltered  by  her  protection,  wayward  hearts  turned 
heavenward  by  her  guidance,  doubting  hearts  enlightened 
by  her  counsels,  wounded  hearts  soothed  by  her  sympathy, 
proud  hearts  subdued  by  her  motherly  interest,  and  hearts 
on  the  brink  of  ruin  rescued  by  her  zeal  and  triumphantly 
laid  at  the  feet  of  the  Good  Master,  with  whose  love  her  own 
heart  was  consumed." 


382 


CHAPTER  XXX. 

LAST  DAYS  AND  DEATH  OF  MOTHER  HARDEY — TEMPORARY 

TOMB  AT  CONFLANS FlNAL  INTERMENT  AT 

KENWOOD— 1884-1886. 

God  blessed  the  admirable  obedience  of  Mother  Hardey ; 
although  greatly  fatigued  on  arriving  in  Paris,  after  a 
few  days,  she  was  able  to  take  part  in  the  deliberations  of 
the  General  Council.  At  its  close  to  her  functions  of  Assist- 
ant General  were  added  the  'duties  of  local  Superior  of  the 
Mother  House. 

A  letter  from  Mother  Jones  at  this  period  says :  "  Our 
dear  Mother  is  much  improved,  and  is  always  serene  and 
cheerful.  I  have  not  lost  hope  of  her  return  to  America, 
where  her  presence  is  so  much  needed,  but  she  cannot  go 
with  us  now,  as  she  must  remain  here  to  give  her  deposition 
for  the  cause  of  our  venerable  Mother,  and  that  cannot  be 
done  at  present.  Besides  Reverend  Mother  needs  a  rest  be- 
fore traveling  again."  Notwithstanding  the  hope  expressed 
in  this  letter,  the  American  vicars  parted  from  Mother  Har- 
dey with  sorrowful  hearts,  for  they  felt  that  her  travels  were 
soon  to  end  in  the  haven  of  eternal  rest. 

Her  energy  set  aside  the  claims  of  age  and  infirmity,  and 
she  resumed  her  duties  with  her  accustomed  devotedness. 
In  proportion  as  she  was  nearing  the  term  of  her  exile,  she 
seemed  to  grow  more  and  more  in  the  spirit  of  prayer  and 
absorption  in  God.  "  One  day,"  relates  a  Sister,  "  we  were 
speaking  to  her  of  a  very  beautiful  chasuble  which  the  priest 
wore  at  Mass.  Without  intending  it  as  a  reproof  she  said, 
with  surprise,  '  Sisters,  did  you  look  at  the  vestments?  For 
my  part  I  acknowledge  that  I  never  notice  the  priests,  nor 
the  vestments.  How  can  one  be  occupied  with  creatures  in 
the  presence  of  the  Creator.'  " 

She  was  sent  by  the  Mother  General  to  make  the  visits 

383 


MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

of  the  houses  of  Besangon  and  St.  Ferreol,  in  the  month  of 
September,  1884.  One  of  the  religious  gives  a  glowing  ac- 
count of  her  visit :  "  Our  Reverend  Mother  Assistant  Gen- 
eral arrived  at  the  close  of  our  annual  retreat.  Without 
taking  any  time  to  rest,  she  devoted  herself  to  the  duties  of 
her  charge,  and  at  once  all  hearts  were  attracted  to  her.  She 
came  to  Besangon  the  day  of  the  opening  of  the  school.  Our 
pupils  always  return  in  gay  spirits,  but  in  1884,  the  presence 
of  an  Assistant  General  made  the  first  week  of  October  a 
very  delightful  family  feast.  Won  by  her  kindness  and  im- 
pressed by  her  energetic  and  persuasive  words,  our  dear 
children  saw  in  a  new  light  the  value  of  the  education  they 
were  receiving,  and  the  necessity  of  conquering  themselves, 
through  love  for  the  Sacred  Heart  of  Jesus.  I  can  say  with 
truth  that  the  blessing  of  God  rested  upon  the  school  in  a 
marked  way  during  that  year.  In  listening  to  her  account 
of  the  foundations  in  America,  the  community  were  remind- 
ed of  the  history  of  St.  Teresa's  foundations,  and  each  one 
felt  irresistibly  drawn  to  a  more  generous  love,  and  a  more 
ardent  zeal  for  the  extension  of  the  reign  of  the  Heart  of 
Jesus.  The  eve  of  her  departure  she  gave  us  a  never-to-be 
forgotten  conference  on  the  apparitions  of  Our  Lord  to 
Blessed  Margaret  Mary,  and  His  touching  complaints  of  the 
coldness  and  ingratitude  of  souls  consecrated  to  Him. 

"  May  I  venture  to  speak  of  the  charity  with  which  she 
undertook  the  task  of  enlightening  and  guiding  me  in  my 
charge  of  superior?  At  every  free  moment  she  sent  for  me, 
greeting  me  with  the  words,  '  Come  and  I  will  give  you 
your  catechism  lesson.'  Then  began  the  delightful  inter- 
views. It  was  the  Rule  she  taught  me,  the  Rule  to  which 
all  must  be  referred,  the  Rule  which  she  showed  me  how  to 
consult  in  all  my  difficulties,  the  Rule,  above  all,  which  she 
made  me  love.  It  is  with  profound  gratitude  that  I  recall 
her  advice,  her  decisions  and  her  encouragements,  which 
bore  the  stamp  of  so  just,  so  large  and  so  religious  a  spirit." 

It  was  thus  that  Mother  Hardey  went  about  doing  good. 

384 


LAST  DAYS  AND  DEATH 

She  did  not  forget  the  material  welfare  of  the  house  she 
visited.  She  often  expressed  regret  that  the  house  of 
Besangon  could  not  be  enlarged,  and  her  memory  is  still  in 
benediction  at  St.  Ferreol  for  a  staircase  which  they  owe  to 
her.  She  herself  was  much  consoled  and  edified  by  these  two 
families.  She  loved  to  mention  the  promptitude  of  the  obe- 
dience of  the  good  Sisters  of  Besangon,  to  whom  she  made  a 
little  remark  about  the  way  they  wore  their  caps.  An  hour 
after  they  returned  to  show  her  how  they  had  rectified  the 
little  irregularity. 

On  the  9th  of  November  she  returned  to  Paris.  She  was 
not  well  during  the  winter,  but  in  the  spring  she  was  able 
to  help  Mother  Lehon  in  her  regular  visit  at  the  rue  de 
Varennes.  A  little  later  she  went  to  Nancy  for  the  dedica- 
tion of  the  new  church.  "  I  come  to  represent  our  Mother 
General,"  she  said ;  "  I  am  here  only  in  her  name."  These 
were  days  of  happiness,  we  are  told,  and  of  holy  lessons  and 
examples.  She  gave  herself  to  each  one  with  maternal  in- 
terest, never  showing  the  least  fatigue  or  weariness.  The 
pupils  were  charmed  with  her  interesting  accounts  of 
America,  and  the  community  were  far  from  suspecting  that 
this  was  to  be  her  last  active  work  in  the  service  of  the 
Society  she  loved  so  well. 

When  a  soul  draws  near  to  her  last  end,  when  for  years 
she  has  fought  the  good  fight,  God  ordinarily  multiplies 
her  trials  before  giving  her  the  crown.  In  the  various  cir- 
cumstances of  Mother  Hardey's  life,  we  have  seen  her  a 
living  model  of  the  rules  of  her  Institute,  whether  in  the 
active  labors  of  government  or  the  silent  apostleship  of  in- 
terior life.  She  is  now  to  give  a  last  example  of  their  spirit 
in  her  loving  acceptance  of  the  divine  will  during  a  year  of 
inaction  and  suffering,  when  her  bed  was  truly  for  her  the 
altar  of  sacrifice,  where  in  union  with  her  Divine  Spouse 
she  "  drank  the  chalice  even  to  the  dregs."  In  the  month 
of  April,  1885,  she  sustained  a  great  shock  in  the  death  of 
Reverend  Mother  Cahier,  one  of  the  Assistants  General,  to 

25  385 


MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

whom  she  was  devotedly  attached.  This  Reverend  Mother 
had  been  Mother  Barat's  secretary  for  over  twenty  years, 
therefore  a  close  intimacy  had  united  her  to  Mother  Hardey. 
Death  came  so  promptly  to  Mother  Cahier  that  Mother 
Hardey  seemed  to  be  stunned  by  the  blow. 

From  that  time  her  health  perceptibly  declined.  Hoping 
to  prolong  her  life  by  a  temporary  change,  Mother  Lehon 
thought  of  sending  her  once  more  across  the  Atlantic,  but 
abandoned  the  project  after  a  medical  consultation  declared 
that  the  invalid  was  unable  to  make  the  voyage.  She  then 
decided  to  send  her  to  a  convent  near  the  sea.  In  the  last 
days  of  July  Mother  Hardey  left  for  Calais.  Unfortunately, 
on  reaching  the  station,  she  was  thrown  forward  by  the 
sudden  motion  of  the  car,  and  her  heart  sustained  a  shock 
which  threatened  to  end  fatally.  Prompt  remedies  averted 
the  danger,  and  after  a  few  days  of  rest  she  was  able  to 
assist  at  Mass  and  receive  Holy  Communion.  On  the  8th 
of  August,  as  she  was  returning  from  the  Holy  Table,  she 
was  seen  to  stagger,  but  her  presence  of  mind  did  not  fail 
her,  and  she  clung  for  support  until  a  chair  was  brought  to 
her.  Restoratives  were  promptly  administered  and  warded 
off  an  impending  stroke  of  paralysis.  During  the  day  her 
condition  became  still  more  alarming. 

A  telegram  was  sent  to  Reverend  Mother  Lehon,  who 
answered  that  she  would  arrive  at  midnight.  As  the  danger 
increased  towards  evening,  it  was  thought  prudent  to  ad- 
minister the  Last  Sacraments.  When  consulted,  Mother 
Hardey  replied :  "  As  our  Mother  is  coming  we  must  wait 
for  her  to  decide  what  she  thinks  best."  Then,  as  always, 
Mother  Hardey  was  the  child  of  obedience.  The  meeting 
of  the  two  Mothers  was  touching,  and  a  favorable  reaction 
took  place,  which  Mother  Lehon  attributed  to  the  prayers 
offered  in  both  the  old  and  the  new  world,  as  she  had  tele- 
graphed the  threatened  danger  to  all  the  convents  in  the 
Society.  These  prayers  were  to  obtain  a  prolongation  of 
life,  but  they  could  not  detain  much  longer  on  earth  her 

386 


LAST  DAYS  AND  DEATH 

whose  crown  needed  only  completion  by  a  state  of  inaction, 
united  to  suffering.  The  administration  of  the  Sacraments 
took  place  the  next  morning.  During  this  ceremony  Mother 
Hardey  begged  pardon  for  all  the  faults  of  her  life,  enumer- 
ating them  with  so  much  compunction  that  those  pres- 
ent were  moved  to  tears.  Mother  Lehon  was  obliged  to  tell 
her  to  cease  her  accusations,  which  were  the  outpouring  of 
a  soul  steeped  in  self-abasement  and  filled  with  the  desire 
of  repairing  what  she  termed  the  voids  of  her  life.  Far 
different  were  the  thoughts  of  those  who  witnessed  the 
sacred  unction  being  applied  to  the  senses  of  that  body 
which  had  served  its  Creator  from  the  days  of  its  youth. 

The  malady,  without  making  much  progress,  did  not 
yield  to  treatment  and  the  doctor  gave  slight  hope  of  im- 
provement, as  the  organs  of  the  heart  were  absolutely  worn 
out.  Cables  were  sent  almost  daily  to  Reverend  Mother 
Jones,  so  that  Mother  Hardey's  daughters  might  be  kept 
informed  of  her  condition.  Needless  to  say  that  it  was  a 
consolation  for  them  to  unite  in  prayer  and  loving  sympathy 
with  those  who  were  lavishing  their  tender  care  upon  the 
dear  invalid.  Near  that  bedside  were  witnessed  touching 
scenes  of  self-denial  and  obedience.  When  breathing  seemed 
very  difficult  for  Mother  Hardey,  on  account  of  her  position 
in  the  bed,  one  of  the  Mothers  offered  to  help  her  to  turn 
on  the  other  side.  "  Oh,  no,"  said  the  obedient  invalid, 
"  the  doctor  told  me  I  must  not  move."  When  the  physician 
was  told  of  her  reply,  he  said,  "  Madame  is  so  obedient,  I 
must  weigh  well  my  words." 

Another  time  the  same  religious  came  to  speak  to  her, 
but  the  invalid,  with  an  effort,  kept  her  eyes  closed,  saying: 
"  Our  Very  Reverend  Mother  told  me  I  must  sleep."  As 
the  autumn  approached  it  was  deemed  prudent  to  remove 
Mother  Hardey  from  Calais  as  the  temperature  would  be  too 
severe  for  her.  She  was  taken  to  Paris  on  the  I7th  of  Sep- 
tember, without  any  bad  results,  owing  to  the  precautions 
taken  and  conveniences  provided.  Once  more  at  home,  her 

387 


MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

physician  tried  all  the  resources  of  science  to  counteract  the 
progress  of  the  disease.  She  gradually  grew  stronger,  but 
was  unable  to  use  her  limbs.  By  means  of  a  rolling  chair 
she  was  able  to  go  to  the  chapel  and  the  community  room. 
Her  voice  regained  its  wonted  cheerfulness,  her  countenance 
lighted  up  with  the  grace  of  sympathy  and  kindness.  She 
resumed  her  correspondence,  and  directed  letters  of  counsel 
and  encouragement  to  many  of  her  daughters  across  the 
seas. 

But  the  improvement  in  her  condition  was  only  passing, 
the  perfection  of  her  grand  soul  was  to  be  completed  by  an 
antithesis  to  all  her  past,  that  of  prolonged  solitude  and  in- 
action. Who  that  ever  knew  the  strength  of  will,  the  ardor 
for  labor,  the  desire  to  follow  the  common  life,  which  ani- 
mated Mother  Hardey,  can  fail  to  realize  that  her  helpless 
state  was  truly  an  altar  of  sacrifice.  Yet  the  vigor  of  her 
soul  seemed  at  times  independent  of  the  feebleness  of  her 
body.  She  continued  to  take  interest  in  all  that  regarded 
the  Church,  the  Society,  individual  souls  who  applied  to  her 
for  advice.  Her  room  was  frequently  the  happy  meeting 
place  of  the  American  probationists,  and  their  reunions  w*»re 
brightened  by  that  gracious  smile  which  made  them  forget 
her  state  of  suffering.  Her  one  thought  was  to  give  pleas- 
ure to  others. 

As  soon  as  she  received  any  gift  she  sent  for  others  to 
admire  it,  then  offered  it,  if  suitable,  for  the  poor.  Her  con- 
solation was  the  visits  of  the  Mother  General,  who  sought 
every  opportunity  of  cheering  and  benefiting  the  dear  in- 
valid in  every  way.  Writing  to  one  of  the  American  su- 
periors, on  May  21,  1886,  Mother  Lehon  says:  "Our  dear 
Reverend  Mother  Hardey  grows  daily  in  holiness.  You  can 
easily  understand  how  her  active  mind  and  burning  zeal 
must  feel  her  powerlessness  to  act.  Her  patience  and  obe- 
dience are  admirable.  Her  head  and  her  heart  do  not  share 
her  physical  weakness,  she  enters  with  lively  interest  into 
all  that  concerns  the  Society." 

388 


LAST  DAYS  AND  DEATH 

The  blessing  of  Leo  XIII  was  a  favor  much  appreciated 
by  Mother  Hardey,  for  with  her  strong  faith,  she  recog- 
nized in  this  grace  a  fresh  aid  to  reach  in  safety  the  term 
whither  she  was  hastening.  When  it  became  evident  that 
she  could  not  long  survive,  Mother  Lehon  summoned 
Mothers  Jones  and  Hoey  to  Paris.  The  prospect  of  seeing 
her  dear  daughters  gave  great  joy  to  the  invalid,  and  as 
she  seemed  somewhat  better,  Mother  Lehon  left  for  Brus- 
sels on  the  3ist  of  May,  expecting  to  be  absent  about  twelve 
days.  A  crisis  occurred  on  the  Qth  of  June.  The  doctor  dis- 
covere'd  the  formation  of  an  embolus  which  caused  him  to 
declare :  "  All  is  over,  death  is  inevitable."  He  could  only 
give  hope  of  prolonging  her  life  until  the  arrival  of  Mother 
Lehon,  who  started  for  Paris  as  soon  as  the  summons 
reached  her. 

Mother  Hardey  was  calm  and  fully  conscious  of  her 
state.  Recalling  the  date  fixed  for  the  return  of  the  Mother 
General,  she  sorrowfully  repeated,  "  Two  days  yet ;  two 
days  yet !  "  But  Mother  Lehon  was  already  on  the  way  to 
Paris,  and  at  ten  p.  m.  she  reached  the  Mother  House.  She 
went  at  once  to  Mother  Hardey,  who  greeted  her  with  the 
words,  "O  Mother,  all  is  over!"  In  her  account  of  this 
interview  Mother  Lehon  wrote :  "  We  spoke  together  of 
God;  nothing  troubled  her  soul  then,  nor  until  the  end. 
This  calmness  and  confidence  sufficed  to  prove  the  admir- 
able rectitude  with  which  our  good  Mother  had  always  acted 
during  her  long  government  of  over  fifty  years.  On  Penta- 
cost  Sunday,  before  receiving  Holy  Communion,  she  said, 
with  unutterable  tenderness,  '  This  will  be  my  last.'  Our 
Lord  was,  however,  to  visit  her  again  on  Tuesday.  Al- 
though much  weakened  by  her  great  suffering,  a  word 
about  God  brought  her  to  herself,  and  when  reminded  on 
Wednesday  that  she  could  yet  gain  the  Indulgence  of  the 
Jubilee  her  countenance  became  radiant  with  happiness. 

"  Her  Jubilee  was  made  and  Extreme  Unction  ad- 
ministered, with  the  last  indulgence.  To  complete  the  em- 

389 


MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

bellishment  of  her  crown,  Our  Lord  demanded  a  sacrifice 
which  was  keenly  felt  by  her  sensitive  heart,  the  extent  of 
which  can  only  be  measured  by  recalling  her  joy  when  told 
that  Mother  Jones  had  embarked  on  the  I2th  of  June  for 
France.  How  many  times  she  counted  the  days  of  the  voy- 
age, until  feeling  that  death  was  at  hand,  she  exclaimed,  '  I 
shall  never  see  her  again ! '  Then  she  offered  the  disappoint- 
ment to  God,  and  made  no  further  reference  to  her  sacrifice. 
Thursday  morning,  the  i/th,  her  sufferings  were  to  end. 
Our  chaplain  renewed  the  last  indulgence,  after  which  she 
entered  into  a  peaceful  agony.  Our  Reverend  Mothers  As- 
sistants General  and  the  community  surrounded  her,  recit- 
ing the  prayers  for  the  departing  soul,  when  a  gentle  sigh 
announced  the  end  at  8 130  A.  M.  I  have  rarely  seen  upon 
a  deathbed  a  countenance  so  radiant,  so  smiling,  so  beauti- 
ful, we  were  never  tired  of  contemplating  her." 

Multiplied  testimonies  of  regret  proved  the  veneration  in 
which  Mother  Hardey  was  held.  Her  devoted  friend,  the 
Duchess  of  Pastrana  had  hastened  from  Madrid,  hoping  to 
see  her.  She  arrived  too  late,  alas!  but  she  came  to  weep 
by  her  funeral  couch,  which  she  adorned  with  a  magnificent 
crown.  Many  other  floral  tributes,  the  offerings  of  grateful 
friends,  embellished  her  modest  catafalque. 

An  American  probationist  writes  of  her  night  watch 
beside  the  precious  remains :  "  I  could  never  tell  you  of  the 
holy  joy  of  those  two  blessed  hours.  I  could  not  take  my 
eyes  from  de.ar  Reverend  Mother's  face  so  radiant  with 
heavenly  light  and  peace,  that  it  is  imprinted  forever  on  my 
memory.  Friday  morning,  at  6:30  our  Mother  General 
entered  the  room,  with  her  arms  full  of  pure  white  roses 
which  she  placed  one  by  one  around  the  form  of  our  dear 
Mother.  She  stood  gazing  upon  her,  as  if  wrapt  in  con- 
templation, then,  turning  to  us,  said :  '  How  beautiful  she 
is !  It  seems  that  Our  Lord  wishes  to  give  us  a  visible  sign 
of  her  beatitude.' 

"  During  the  day  the  chamber  of  death  was  filled  with 

390 


LAST  DAYS  AND  DEATH 

Reverend  Mother's  friends,  as  also  many  pupils  from  the 
Rue  de  Varennes,  and  the  day  school  where  she  was  so 
much  loved.  That  evening  the  body  was  transferred  to  the 
chapel  of  Mater  Admirabilis.  Saturday  requiem  Mass  was 
celebrated  at  8 130  by  her  confessor,  Father  le  Chanoine  de 
1'Escaille,  and  Monseigneur  Pelge  gave  the  last  absolution. 
There  were  present  a  number  of  priests  and  representatives 
of  various  religious  orders,  among  them,  Brother  Patrick, 
Assistant  General  of  the  Christian  Brothers,  who  had 
known  her  in  America.  The  side  chapels  were  filled  with 
devoted  friends.  Just  before  the  Mass  began,  eight  pupils 
from  the  Rue  de  Varennes  placed  upon  the  coffin  a  hand- 
some metal  cross,  ornamented  with  a  spray  of  white  flowers 
of  fine  porcelain,  a  memento  to  remain  fadeless  forever. 
After  Mass  the  funeral  cortege  formed  and  proceeded  to 
Conflans,  where  the  community  and  novices,  all  holding 
lighted  candles,  awaited  us.  When  the  coffin  was  placed  on 
the  catafalque  before  the  altar,  we  recited  Lauds,  the  last 
Benediction  was  renewed  and  the  procession  filed  down  the 
grand  staircase  into  the  crypt,  where  our  loved  Mother  was 
laid  to  rest.  Oh !  it  was  sad,  sweet  and  solemn,  surpassing 
all  description." 

The  place  of  Mother  Hardey's  repose  is  marked  by  a 
marble  slab  on  which  is  inscribed  the  following  epitaph : 

Pax  Et  Quies  In  Christo 

Marias  Aloisiae  Hardey 

Virgini  A  Corde  Jesu 

Cujus  Consilio  Prudentia  Virtute 

Societas  Nostra 

Late  Per  America;  Regiones 

Collegia  Instituendis  Puellis  Reclusit 

Eaque  Studiis  Optimis  Custodia  Legum 

Pietate  Floruerunt 

Lcetitiae  Praemium   Laborum 

Assecuta  Est 

391 


MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

XV.  Kal  Quintiles  A.  MDCCCLXXXVI 

AN.  N.  LXXVI  M.  VI 
Cum  Annos  LX  Menses  X. 

In  Coetu  Nostro 

Egregie  De  Re  Catholica 

Meruisset. 

Of  which  this  is  a  translation: 

Peace  and  Rest  in  Christ 

To  Mary  Aloysia  Hardey 

Virgin,  according  to  the  Heart  of  Jesus, 

Through  whose  Counsel,  Prudence,  Valor 

Our  Society 
Established  in  many  Countries  of  America, 

For  the  Education  of  Girls 
Academies  in  which   Learning,  Discipline,   Piety 

Have  flourished. 

She  attained  to  Joy  as  the  Reward  of  Her  Labors 

On  the  Seventeenth  Day  of  June  of  the  year  1886 

At  the  age  of  76  years  and  6  months 

In  our  Congregation  Militant 

60  years  and  10  months 
She  merited  exceedingly  of  the  whole  Catholic  World. 

Mother  Lehon,  on  her  return  from  Conflans,  after 
having  seen  Mother  Hardey's  remains  laid  to  rest  beside 
those  of  Mother  Goetz  and  the  Assistants  General  who  had 
been  interred  in  the  crypt,  addressed  to  her  American 
families,  a  letter  expressing  her  heartfelt  condolence  in  their 
great  sorrow.  "  Your  letters  of  these  last  months,"  she 
wrote,  "  reveal  how  fully  you  share  the  grief  which  Mother 
Hardey's  death  has  caused  us.  She  was  indeed,  one  of  the 
strong  pillars  of  the  Society,  especially  in  America,  where 
she  developed  and  multiplied  the  seed  sown  by  the  saintly 
Mother  Duchesne.  In  her  life  she  reproduced  the  virtues  of 
those  who  founded  your  Mission,  as  her  works  sufficiently 
prove,  but  this  is  not  the  place  to  dwell  upon  them,  for  later, 

392 


LAST  DAYS  AND  DEATH 

they  will  be  recounted  in  detail.  I  wish  here  only  to  recall 
her  generous,  upright  character,  her  devotedness  to  the  in- 
terests of  the  Sacred  Heart,  her  submission  to  the  voice  of 
obedience. 

"  The  ablest  physicians  were  unanimous  in  saying  that 
the  principal  vital  organs  in  Mother  Hardey  were  worn  out, 
and  we  might  add,  they  were  worn  out  in  the  service  of  the 
Divine  Master.  What  shall  I  say  of  the  time  when  she  was 
confined  to  her  bed,  incapable  of  the  slightest  movement 
without  assistance,  and  of  her  last  days  when  acute  suffer- 
ings sometimes  drew  from  her  a  groan,  but  never  a 
murmur?  She  was  always  self-possessed,  abandoned  like  a 
child  to  the  will  of  God,  now  hoping  to  live  that  she  might 
yet  labor,  then  renouncing  the  desire  with  perfect  tran- 
quillity of  soul.  These  alterations  never  disturbed  her  in- 
terior peace.  Two  thoughts  full  of  instruction  for  us  will 
be  forever  associated  with  her  memory,  a  tender,  practical 
devotion  to  the  Heart  of  Jesus,  and  a  constant  fidelity  to 
our  holy  Rules.  Let  us  follow  her  example,  my  dear  sisters, 
and  thus  become  more  faithful  to  our  high  vocation." 

Mother  Hardey  had  made  a  wide  acquaintance  in 
France,  hence,  when  her  death  was  known,  numerous  tes- 
timonials of  respect  to  her  memory  were  received  at  the 
Mother  House.  Bishop  Fallieres  of  St.  Brieux  wrote: 
"  The  telegram  announcing  the  death  of  the  venerable 
Mother  Hardey  did  not  surprise,  though  it  grieved  us 
deeply.  I  understand  how  painful  must  be  the  loss  of  an 
Assistant  General,  who  represented  near  you  those  Ameri- 
can families  so  dear  to  your  heart.  I  recall  with  what  in- 
tense joy,  the  holy  Mother  Goetz  announced  to  me  the  ap- 
proaching arrival  of  Mother  Hardey  in  France,  and  the 
hopes  which  she  founded  on  her  permanent  sojourn  in  Paris, 
for  the  progress  and  union  of  the  Society.  The  '  Grand 
American  '  has  fulfilled  her  mission  by  forming  an  inde- 
structible link  between  the  Society  of  the  Sacred  Heart  in 
Europe  and  its  members  in  the  New  World.  It  is  not  sur- 

393 


MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

prising  that  the  Holy  Spirit  should  have  wished  to  crown 
His  faithful  Spouse.  From  the  height  of  Heaven,  she  will 
continue  the  prayer :  '  May  they  be  one,  as  we  also  are 
one!'" 

Monseigneur  Baunard,  the  historian  of  Mother  Barat, 
who  esteemed  Mother  Hardey  very  highly,  wrote  of  her 
in  the  following  terms  to  Mother  Lehon :  "  I  heard  this 
morning  of  the  death  of  Mother  Hardey,  whom  God  has 
called  to  Himself  after  a  long  career  of  good  works,  under- 
taken for  His  glory.  I  have  been  filled  with  admiration  for 
the  courage  of  that  grand  religious  who  was  one  of  the 
props  of  your  Society  in  North  America.  I  have  known  at 
the  same  time  her  attachment  to  the  Centre  of  Authority 
and  her  solicitude  for  the  unity  of  a  work  in  which  she  was 
one  of  the  principal  laborers  for  over  fifty  years.  She  will 
be  mourned  in  both  hemispheres.  As  to  herself,  I  esteem 
her  happy  in  having  been  called  to  rejoin  her  spiritual 
ancestors,  Mother  Barat  and  Mother  Duchesne,  of  whom 
she  was  most  worthy.  Another  column  has  fallen,  but  only 
to  be  transferred  to  the  temple  which  your  Society  is 
erecting  to  the  Sacret  Heart  in  the  Heavenly  Jerusalem.  In 
thought  and  prayer  I  kneel  at  her  tomb  to  deposit  my  tribute 
of  gratitude  towards  her  whose  kindness  to  me  will  never 
be  forgotten." 

We  shall  not  attempt  to  describe  the  grief  of  Mother 
Hardey's  American  daughters,  when  a  cable  from  the 
Mother  General  bearing  the  words :  "  The  sacrifice  is  con- 
summated," announced  the  news  of  their  great  loss.  In  all 
the  convents,  outward  signs  of  mourning  bespoke  the  sor- 
row of  loving  hearts.  Solemn  requiem  Masses  were 
celebrated,  and  friends  and  former  pupils  united  their 
prayers  with  those  of  the  religious  for  the  venerated  de- 
ceased. The  school  year  was  drawing  to  a  close.  At  the 
commencements,  there  were  an  absence  of  decorations  save 
here  and  there  symbolic  designs  of  immortelles.  An  under- 
tone of  sadness  was  heard  in  the  closing  exercises,  a  note 

394 


LAST  DAYS  AND  DEATH 

breathing  at  once  the  sorrow  of  separation,  the  joy  of  meet- 
ing before  the  throne  of  God.  At  Manhattanville,  a  pane- 
gyric written  by  the  chaplain,  Rev.  Dr.  Callaghan,  was  read 
by  one  of  the  pupils,  Miss  Ultima  Smith,  the  daughter  of  a 
former  pupil,  whose  name  figures  in  these  pages,  as  a  model 
child  of  the  Society  of  the  Sacred  Heart. 

The  press  far  and  wide  published  the  news  of  Mother 
Hardey's  death,  describing  her  as  a  woman  gracious  in 
mien,  noble  in  character,  and  especially  fitted  for  the  great 
deeds  which  marked  her  career.  Innumerable  letters  from 
ecclesiastics  and  laity  were  received,  expressing  sympathy 
for  the  Religious  of  the  Sacret  Heart,  and  admiration  and  re- 
gret for  the  deceased.  The  same  thought  prevails  through- 
out, that  Mother  Hardey  is  entitled  by  her  virtues  and  her 
works  to  an  honored  place  in  the  ecclesiastical  annals  of 
America. 

Very  Rev.  Robert  Fulton,  S.  J.,  Provincial  of  the 
Jesuits,  wrote  to  the  Superior  of  Manhattanville :  "  I  have 
often  said  that  Madame  Hardey  will  hold  the  first  place 
of  American  women  in  our  Church  history.  Besides  her 
material  and  visible  achievements,  what  is  most  striking 
about  her,  is  the  extraordinary  affection  she  inspired  in  the 
members  of  her  community.  This  is  entirely  beyond  par- 
allel. In  those  achievements,  how  much  labor  involved ! 
How  prolific  the  results!  In  that  universal,  I  had  almost 
said  passionate,  affection,  what  a  proof  of  rare  qualities  in 
her  to  attract  it.  Mother  Hardey's  life  will  be  the  history 
of  your  community.  I  sympathize  with  you  in  some 
respects,  though  you  have  no  right  to  grieve  that  she  is 
happy.  Your  interests  are  furthered  by  her  death,  as  she 
is  now  more  powerful  to  aid.  Erect  in  your  own  characters 
a  monument  to  her  glory." 

Father  Fulton's  words  have  been  in  some  measure  real- 
ized. The  life  of  Mother  Hardey  is  in  great  part  the  history 
of  the  Society  of  the  Sacred  Heart  in  North  America.  She 
is  now  with  God  and  her  works  follow  her,  clothed  in  the 

395 


MARY  ALOYSIA  HARDEY 

sanctity  of  the  Heart  she  so  tenderly  loved  and  the  vitality 
of  the  Institute  she  so  faithfully  served.  May  her  spirit  rest 
upon  those  called  to  continue  her  mission  of  generosity, 
self-sacrifice  and  devotedness,  in  laboring-  for  the  salvation 
of  souls  and  for  the  honor  and  glory  of  the  Sacred  Heart  of 
Jesus ! 


Mother  Hardey's  body  had  rested  in  the  crypt  at  Conflans 
for  nearly  twenty  years,  when  the  expulsion  of  the  religious 
orders  from  France  and  the  confiscation  of  their  property, 
made  it  necessary  to  remove  the  precious  remains  in  1905 
to  a  place  of  safety.  The  Very  Reverend  Mother  General 
Digby  decided  that  her  American  daughters  should  have  the 
consolation  of  possessing  all  that  was  mortal  of  their 
beloved  Mother.  In  the  designs  of  God,  the  Mother  Gen- 
eral was  carrying  out  the  original  plan  of  Mother  Lehon  at 
the  time  of  Mother  Hardey's  death.  Thinking  that 
Mother  Jones  would  claim  the  privilege  of  bringing  back  to 
America  the  body  of  the  Mother  whom  she  was  not  to  find 
alive  on  her  arrival  in  France,  Mother  Lehon  had  Mother 
Hardey's  body  embalmed  and  her  coffin  encased  in  a  metal- 
lic casket,  ready  for  transportation.  Its  temporary  resting 
place  was  left  unsealed  pending  the  decision.  Mothers 
Jones  and  Hoey  had  reached  Paris  on  the  evening  of  June 
21,  1886,  unconscious  of  the  sorrow  awaiting  them.  Al- 
though every  effort  had  been  made  to  prepare  them  by 
letters,  it  was  God's  will  that  they  should  hear  of  their 
loss  from  the  lips  of  Mother  Lehon  in  the  words,  "  I  am 
now  doubly  your  Mother !  "  On  learning  that  Mother  Har- 
dey  had  said  that  she  wished  to  remain  where  she  died, 
Mother  Jones  would  not  act  against  that  desire,  so,  in  death, 
as  in  life,  Mother  Hardey  continued  to  be  the  great  bond  of 
union  between  America  and  France  until  an  All  Wise  Provi- 
dence decreed  she  should  have  her  last  resting  place  on 
American  soil,  and  for  the  twentieth  time  that  body,  which 

396 


LAST  DAYS  AND  DEATH 

had  worn  itself  out  in  the  service  of  God,  crossed  the  At- 
lantic. 

While  preparations  were  being  made  for  the  final  inter- 
ment at  Kenwood,  the  sacred  deposit  was  placed  in  the  re- 
ceiving vault  at  Manhattanville.  It  rested  there  for  nearly 
six  months,  until  the  time  came  for  its  removal.  The  re- 
ligious made  grateful,  loving  pilgrimages  around  the  en- 
closure, their  hearts  filled  with  new  emotions  of  filial  rever- 
ence, and  faithful  recollections  of  the  Mother  whose  name 
will  ever  be  associated  with  that  of  Manhattanville. 

On  the  I2th  of  December,  1905,  the  casket  was  laid  be- 
fore the  altar  and  solemn  Mass  celebrated  in  the  chapel  she 
had  erected,  and  whose  solid  walls  had  withstood  the  fiery 
flames  of  the  conflagration  of  1888.  After  the  ceremonies 
were  over,  the  coffin  was  taken  to  Kenwood.  Right  Rev- 
erend Bishop  Burke  went  to  the  Albany  depot  to  meet  the 
hearse,  and  follow  it  in  his  carriage  to  the  convent.  Rev- 
erend Mothers  Mahony  and  Tomassini,  who  had  accom- 
panied the  remains  from  Manhattanville  occupied  the  second 
carriage  of  the  funeral  cortege.  In  the  convent  chapel  the 
remains  rested  in  the  h